8 minutes | Nov 25, 2022
Episode 10: A Life of Gratitude- Happy Thanksgiving
Click here to watch on YouTube The holiday season is fast approaching. Thanksgiving is today. Christmas is only 31 short days away. A week after that we celebrate New Years. This is a time of year when many people focus on all of the reasons they have to be thankful. This got me thinking about how many people live their lives for the big events and ignore the day to day. So is this it? Do we focus on gratitude for a couple of days out of the year and then go back to our selfish lives? It doesn’t have to be this way. You can choose to live a life of gratitude. All year- 365 days, 52 weeks. And yes, it is a choice. If you have ever been in touch with someone who is really in need and had that need met then you have seen the face of gratitude. In fact, I used to volunteer for an organization named Operation Christmas Child. It is an organization that packs shoe boxes full of Christmas gifts for kids and sends them all over the world. I have met several adults who actually received these boxes years earlier as kids. Their reaction was always the same: “those boxes changed my life.” So how do you live a life of gratitude? It’s really very simple. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” That’s it. Give thanks! In all circumstances! Let’s look a little closer. A measure of your spiritual and emotional maturity is the amount of gratitude you show in your life. If you are unsure of where you stand, take a look at the people you choose to spend your time with. Are your friends and acquaintances ungrateful? If so, then chances are that you are too. Ever hear the saying “birds of a feather flock together?” It’s a popular saying because it is accurate. Look at who you surround yourself with. Click here to watch on Rumble When you make the simple decision to “give thanks in all circumstances,” your life changes. Gratitude will allow you to grow closer to other people. Gratitude will allow you to grow closer to God. So, how can you learn to be more grateful? Focus on life’s blessings. Life is challenging. You will face difficulties. If you don’t then I would recommend checking your pulse to make sure you are alive. In fact, in John 16:33, Jesus tells us: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Think about the good in your life. The words “think” and “thank'' come from the same root. Being thankful is directly related to how much time you spend focusing on the good in your life. So what is good in your life? Positive relationships- You have at least one. His name is God. Material blessing- You do have stuff- look around. Positive world events- Negative news sells but try to find the positive stories in the news. Health- Eating Right and exercising will change your life. If you're not doing them, then start. Success- What are you successful at? There's something. Avoid focusing on the bad. Bad things happen… It’s just part of life. Deal with the situation and move on; don’t dwell on the situation and become bitter. Negative relationships- Some relationships are just a part of life but that doesn’t mean you need to be part of the negativity; be the light instead. People who don’t like you- Not everyone likes you. It’s none of your business what someone else thinks of you. People you don’t like- Let's be real. These people will always exist. You don't need to focus on them. Material lack- You're always going to want something. It’s human nature. Focus on what you do have instead. Sickness- We live in a world where people get sick, including you, choose to be positive anyway. Failures- Everyone has failures. Learn from them and apply the lessons to the future. We can’t be grateful unless we realize how blessed we really are. Grateful people take time to experience joy.
7 minutes | Nov 15, 2022
Episode 9: Define Your Success
Click here to watch on Rumble Psalm 37:4 says “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (NIV) Many people take this to mean that if you ask God, he will supply everything you ask Him for. That is why there are so many disappointed and disillusioned Christians.They have learned to ask for things based on their own selfishness and greed. What the verse actually means is that if you seek after Him first then He will change the things you want and ask for to align with His will for you. I always thought that there was something wrong with me. Then one day, while I was praying, God began to open my eyes. He showed me that I was chasing the world’s concept of success. I was told what the world thought success was and I pursued it, not realizing that I didn’t even want it. Being in charge of the world’s money supply and controlling all the people wasn’t in the cards for me. Thank God! It was in these moments that God began to show me His vision for my life. Click here to watch on YouTube It was at this point in my journey that I began to realize how successful I was and that I had been for a very long time. I stopped chasing an idea of success that wasn’t mine. I began to examine the ideas, beliefs and attitudes that I had learned in my childhood, were reinforced in my teenage years and pursued in my early adult years. I owned an idea of success for much of my life just because I was not aware of the truth. When I began to look around at my life, I saw that I had a strong relationship with my Creator. I had the abilities and gifts that He gave me. I had the love, friendship and trust of many people. I had the respect and love of my kids. I had my health and intelligence. I had so many positives in my life, even though I faced difficulties all around me but I was deceived into thinking that I wasn’t worth very much. I now know that I am successful not only because I have all of the things that were mentioned above, but also because of the value and worth I bring to others lives. I don’t mean monetary value but the positive comment in the midst of a negative atmosphere. They are words of encouragement to someone who is feeling down or left out. It’s having the conviction to stand my ground on what is true or right no matter what the consequences. It’s having the courage to learn from my biggest failures, disappointments and pain so that I may share the lessons with others in need. Maybe yes, I have been successful for most of my life. It’s time for you to take a look at your own life. Who defines whether you are successful or not? We all are created to have relationships with others which makes social interaction an important part of life. We all strive at some level to be accepted by those around us. That feeling of acceptance is what many people seek as their measure of success. If people around us are praising us then we must be doing well or so we think! So at this point you need to be honest with yourself. Up to this point who has determined whether you feel successful? Friends, family, co-workers or business partners and the expectations of society have determined success in general for most people. It’s hard to admit, but it’s true, if you examine the things you have been striving for, you are sure to find that many of the people who fall into the groups mentioned above have shaped you and your definition of success. But who should define success in your life? I am going to go out on a limb here; I am suggesting that success should be defined by God and by your relationship with Him. I know that I turned some people off with that statement but I ask you to approach this with an open mind. Besides, if you're like most people then the results you have been getting from the common way of defining success has been very disappointing. I am asking you to suspend all fear, doubt and disbelief. Will you do that? Do you mean it?
7 minutes | Oct 11, 2022
Episode 8: Out of Comfort
Click here to watch on YouTube Neale Donald Walsch said “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” That statement seems to be more true today than at any other time in human history. With our faces buried in our phones, consuming a mental diet of electronic brainwashing and manipulation, we can get quite comfortable with our little spot in the world. After all, there isn’t much thinking needed to live a comfortable life. We are told what to think, what to watch, what’s “trending”, even what to eat. We have come to expect a certain level of comfort in our lives. After all, that’s exactly what our hand-held masters have told us to desire and embrace. As long as we receive this morphine-like slow drip of the known, we stay comfortable and therefore paralyzed… unwilling or unable to life life to the fullest. The end of your comfort zone, though, that’s a whole different form of living. It is the place where we go from the known predictable patterns of life into the unknown and unpredictable. When we choose to step over that line into the difficult and uncomfortable, well that’s where the living and winning is done. So today I'm going to ask you some questions. Be honest with your resposes, Maybe even write them down and contemplate the answers over the coming days. Where are you living in relation to your comfort zone? Do you enjoy a life where nothing changes? Or Do you wonder if you could live a life of adventure? Do you prefer being told how to live? Or Do you prefer making your own decisions? Do you hire an “expert” when something needs fixing? or Do you want to test the limits of what you know? Do you believe you are ordinary? Or Do you know God created you to be extraordinary? Most people choose to live in their comfort zone. They never seem to venture out beyond what seems certain. Maybe they don’t know that they can. They get comfortable and stop pushing on the limits of their dreams. The predictable comforts of modern life nave put their God given purpose to sleep. They are robbed of that vision God planted in their hearts as a child. They are told not to demand more of life. To just keep their eyes on their device. Even in the spiritual unconsciousness we seem to live our lives, there is a hidden desire for more. More of the goodness of life; more of God. Inside all of us is a desire to get more from life. It has become buried under layers of complexity we should reject. Many of us are just afraid to do it. This is where some of us chose to live. But for God’s chosen and awoken there is something different. It’s a deliberate attempt to run away from the spiritual jail cells that surround us. We get up every day trying to get away from the ordinary. We run from the comfort zones erected all around us; fighting with every essence of our being not only to keep ourselves free but to open the eyes of the lost and help them to their spiritual feet so that they too can join the fight. We enjoy the challenge of growing and getting better everyday. We trust that the fight and the struggle will make us stronger. We move with purpose towards the end of our comfort zone. This is where our senses are alive; where we live life to the full. This is where we are in the will of our Creator and Savior. Where are you? Where do you want to be? Where are you heading? These are questions each of us must ask and answer for ourselves each and every day. We must contemplate these questions without the outside influence of the electronics all around us. Learning to live a life beyond the everyday societal trappings of TV, internet, junk food, social media, and other influences that keep you down, is a life planned just for you; a life beyond your wildest dreams. Its a life of accomplishment, success and fulfillment. It is a life that isn't always easy, comfortable or predictable but it is a life worth living. To find it you simply need to break free. You need to develop a God centered and directed self-relian...
7 minutes | Oct 2, 2022
Episode 7:What Exactly Is This?
The simple answer is: I don't know! And just as importantly, I don’t need to know! Click here to watch on YouTube First things first... a little background about me. Not too long ago, I had a job that I loved more than anything. I think that was part of the reason I stood there four and a half years ago confused and baffled… devastated. It was more than a job. It was a calling; a mission. I was good at it! People loved me! I was a kids and youth pastor for 12 years. I didn’t know then but I do know now, I put that ministry before everything, even God himself! All in an attempt to feed my ego. I took a church with a failing kids and youth program and turned it around. Over a period of 12 years I saw hundreds of kids and teenagers grow into young adults with families of their own. Some of them even went into ministry themselves because of me! I know now that I wasn't the reason but my ego was BIG! Fast forward... to early 2018. The senior pastor's son graduated from bible college and wanted to be a kids and youth pastor. He also wanted to serve his dad in ministry. So guess where I ended up? That's right... unemployed. The funny thing is, he moved away again one year after serving at his dad's church.. I know now that God used that situation to move me out of that ministry and into the unknown. Am I mad about how I was treated? I was,.. but the bigger picture is unfolding and it's going to be better than I ever dreamed. It's no longer about me. It's about my Savior; yes it's about Jesus! I can't say I would have done anything any different if I was in charge and my son or daughter came and told me that they wanted to serve alongside me in ministry. I would be honored if that happened. Besides, I needed a major spiritual overhauling. I spent months after that wrestling with God. I was trying to bargain with Him. I was praying for His will but doing my own thing. He knew what I needed. He broke me... in a way I have never been broken. It hurt. I cried... a lot. (If you're wondering: Real men do cry). I spent months in the wilderness, alone or so I thought. I know now that my loving Heavenly Father was with me the entire time. Family with whom I thought I had an unbreakable bond said and did things to me that crushed my spirit. Friends I thought I had were nowhere to be found. I was hurt and alone. I got myself involved in some serious 12 step work. It broke me even more. I surrendered... things continued to get worse. I realize now the first attempt at surrender was me trying to trick God. Like an all powerful, all knowing and all present God wouldn't see through my attempts at deception. I prayed harder and hurt more. I kept pressing in… even when my old life was crumbling all around me. Somewhere along the way His love changed me. It didn’t happen overnight. It was a very gradual process. I survived. If you find yourself in a similar season of life, you will survive too. But you need God. You really do! So, here I am today. Rebuilt and committed to following Jesus. Yes, sometimes into very painful places and complete darkness but sometimes into places of joy and blessing. I have taken the words of the apostle Paul in Philippians 4:10-13 and have learned “to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” He keeps leading me, I keep doing the next right thing, miracles keep happening! It's just like that for me now. Over 4 years later He has my attention. I feel Him, guiding me, leading me; very carefully, back into ministry. This is my ministry and what it will become is His plan, not mine. For now he has me on a need to know basis. Quite honestly, I'm good with that! I trust Him, even when I cant see. Thanks for joining me at renewed2win. Remember,
6 minutes | Sep 22, 2022
Episode 6: The Screwdriver
Click here to watch on YouTube As I glance at the clock in front of me, I see the seconds ticking by. It seems insignificant in the moment. What’s a few seconds? And in the grand plan of life, a few seconds will not change the course of a life. But string together a few seconds and then a few more and then a few more. If you expand this out and follow it logically, you will see that the seconds become minutes; the minutes become hours; hours become days… well I think you get where I'm going with this. If wasting seconds is a constant practice in your life then what eventually happens is that years of life get wasted. Time doesn’t stop. It continues to creep forward no matter what you do or fail to do. It is an impersonal reality that you can either master or serve. Remember this though: The choice is yours! Are you moving with time or are you stuck? Are you stuck in the past with regrets of mistakes or things left undone? Maybe you're stuck in the future, paralyzed by the “what ifs.' Is the time that you should be working consumed with fear? Are you stuck in the present without clear direction? Are you afraid to make a mistake because that biting criticism from the past is still lurking under the surface, waiting to take you down again?. Make a choice: GET UNSTUCK!. Now! Stop allowing the time to aimlessly drift by while your goals and dreams fade into the sunset of this beautiful life you have been given. You were created to do and be more. Take hold of that truth. Embrace it and learn to recognize the wasted time. And most importantly, Do something about it. A life of self-sufficient living requires you to become the master of your time. Sometimes it’s good to let the seconds drift by. In fact you should have a time every day where you do absolutely nothing. That is good… and healthy. Remember though what your objective is. You are trying to break free from the chains of a lost and dying world. You are learning to set yourself apart from the masses… those who aimlessly move through life, seeking comfort and pleasure. You are seeking to dismiss society as your source of dependence and turn towards God. The only way to do that is to become an efficient user of the hours in front of you. Get unstuck: Do something now! Don’t let the next hour pass without you doing something to move you closer to your objective of freedom and independence. Do something no matter how small or unimportant it may seem in the moment. It will help you move in the right direction. I recently had a great experience with this concept and I want to share it with you. I have had trouble in the last few years keeping my garage organized. I always intend to get it picked up and in order but I never did. I watched the clock tick by, unwilling to take action. I carried this seemingly unimportant burden with me, not realizing what It was doing to my God given destiny. I was very frustrated with my inability to take action. Then, after listening to a podcast about a relevant topic, I decided to go out to the garage and put a screwdriver away. It felt good. I began to pick two things that I could do in the garage each day to move me closer to the objective. I began to develop momentum and over the course of about two weeks, the garage was organized. That momentum carried over to every single area of my life. All because I decided to stop watching the moments tic by and do something. You can do the same thing. What will you commit to right now? Now will be gone before you know it. Your chance to do something will fade into the past: What’s your something? What’s your screwdriver? Time will continue to creep forward no matter what you do or fail to do. It is an impersonal reality that you can either master or serve. Remember this though: The Choice Is Yours! Don’t let time pass without you doing something to move you closer to your objective of freedom and independence. Thanks for joining me at renewed2win. Remember,
8 minutes | Sep 2, 2022
Episode 5: Success
Click here to watch on YouTube We learn to walk by the time we are one; we learn to ride a bike by the time we’re six, about the same time, we are starting school. We learn to drive by the time we are sixteen. We get married, have kids and then retire. We do this, most of us anyway, without learning about success. I’m talking about real success. Most of us have learned society’s version of success and that is precisely why we are unhappy and unfulfilled. Of true success, we know very little or even nothing at all. Many of us never learn what success is and what it isn’t. We don’t understand what failure is or what it isn’t. If you look around at the world today you will see many people leading unfulfilled, unhappy and unproductive lives. No one ever taught us about success. There are no high school courses on the subject and I have yet to see a college course that teaches life-long principles that, if lived by, will set your destiny in a new trajectory. It’s a concept most people will never grasp. Well, that’s what renewed2win is about. By reading, watching or listening to these mini lessons you will begin to uncover the life that was meant for you. You will realize your uniqueness and finally realize that we are not living in a one-size-fits-all world. You will find true happiness as you begin to realize success. As we begin our journey, I would like to share with you my personal experiences with success as the world and popular society defines it and what I have come to know as true, lasting and real success. My journey began, like everyone else, as a child. It’s when we are young and impressionable that our beliefs, attitudes and behaviors are formed. They affect the rest of our lives, and for many people, it is never realized that they may develop these characteristics in an atmosphere that isn’t or wasn’t supportive of real success. My first experiences with worldly success revolved around sports and money. These two areas were given major emphasis. As I remember I was strongly persuaded to practice baseball every day and I also had a paper route. Two things that I didn’t enjoy but was told would be stepping stones to future success. I remember hearing from people who had an influence on my life that I could do anything and have as much money as I wanted. Wow, what’s wrong with that? So, the race was on. Like many young people, my ambitions began to revolve around power, importance, prestige and money. The cues from society, in general, were the same. I should want “stuff” and I should do whatever it takes to get that “stuff.” That was success! I took a job as an insurance and investment broker out of college, after seeing the movie “Wall Street.” I felt important and there was some feeling of power. After all, I was helping people with their money. There was some feeling of prestige, especially among friends and people who didn’t know the industry that well. I didn’t make much money though and found out later why. It was not what I was supposed to do. In an industry where they hire almost anybody who walks through the door, I wasn’t making the money I thought I deserved. I came to realize years later, that I wasn’t working nearly as intelligently or efficiently as I needed to in order to make that money. I would work twelve to sixteen hours a day; I realize now that I was sitting at a desk for twelve to sixteen hours a day, but not really working. I remember telling people with an absolute degree of certainty that I was going to be the richest man in the world; I was going to be successful. I don’t know if anyone bought into that or not. So off I went chasing success. After some time of this I figured out what I thought the real problem was, it was the insurance and investment industry. So, I quit my job and took other sales jobs, working equally tiring hours; driving myself and everyone around me insane with no time for fun or leisure.
5 minutes | Aug 27, 2022
Episode 4: The Stumbling Block
Click here to watch on YouTube I was out early this morning in the yard. As I walked out towards the shed, I tripped over something. As I looked down, I saw it! That same piece of wood that has been there for several weeks. A stumbling block… I continued on my mission to the shed. As I walked, I was reminded of all of the times I stumbled over that piece of wood. It was right in my path but I hadn’t done anything about it for a long time. This morning though, I decided to take action. I picked up the stumbling block and I threw it into the woods, where I would never have to walk near it again.I remembered how that particular stumbling block took its position. It was the result of my splitting firewood in preparation for the upcoming winter… something good. I saw a small chunk of wood fly off the side of the log I was splitting and I clearly remember saying to myself that I would pick it up later, but I never did. So my internal dialogue began to focus on not only this particular stumbling block but on what other obstacle I may have set up in my path. My path of life. I began to think of the failures I encountered on this path of life. I thought about my early life and who I wanted to be, the broken relationships, the betrayal of those closest to me, the shattered dreams, the missed opportunities… the list goes on but I think you get the point. It was quite an emotional and eye opening experience, out there this morning as I picked up this particular stumbling block and tossed it where my feet would never tread. I began to wonder what other stumbling blocks can I move from my path right now. I know I can’t remove all of them at once but today I can remove one… just one. To move all of them will take a lifetime but for today, I can focus on one… just one. Maybe tomorrow I can do two; but that's tomorrow. Today I can move one. It’s the same with you. You can take action right now. No more waiting, no more excuses, no more ignoring what has been holding you back. What people, situations, circumstances, habits, behaviors and past hurts are causing you to stumble? Be honest… it’s just you and God. Well, if you're like me, then I bet your list is quite formidable. You may have thought of turning back and ignoring these things that are holding you back from your true potential. These thoughts may have even stirred up some dormant pain or distant memories. That’s ok. It’s the first step on your journey to a new you. Muster the courage to pick one stumbling block. What are you willing to let go of or move out of your way? You don’t need to pick the biggest or most painful, just pick one. One thing, that if you remove from the path you're on, it will make your journey better. Don’t think too much about it, just decide. Don’t worry, tomorrow you can pick another. Tomorrow you can even eliminate two if you want, but for today just pick one. Now that you have this obstacle before you, put it before God. Ask Him what you need to do. What actions you should take to rid yourself of this thing that has been holding you back. Most importantly ask Him to be with you as you take the steps necessary to remove it. Most likely it's not as easy as picking up a chunk of wood and tossing it into the woods. Just do something! Just eliminate one! Thanks for joining me at renewed2win. Remember, maybe everything you have ever believed doesn’t actually matter to what is truly real. Michael at R2W
8 minutes | Aug 1, 2022
Episode 3: Random Thoughts on Health
Click here to watch on YouTube I was out early this morning walking the dog. While out, I was thinking of what the next episode was going to be about. I came up with four random thoughts on health which if applied in your life will help to lift your life to a new level of success. So here they are: Some of these ideas may seem like common sense to you, some of them you may not have thought of. I throw them out to you now, as ideas you can use and work on, to help you in your pursuit of physical health and success. The first one is to avoid drugs and alcohol. At their worst they cause broken families, broken lives and much pain. At their best they cause drowsiness and lack of ambition. "Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine. Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper. Your eyes will see strange sights and your mind will imagine confusing things. You will be like one sleeping on the high seas, lying on top of the rigging. 'They hit me,' you will say, 'but I'm not hurt! They beat me, but I don't feel it! When will I wake up so I can find another drink?'"xcii My experience and work with other people has shown that you can insert any type of alcohol or drug in the above statement and you will end up with the same result. Also, don’t be fooled by the so-called “legal” drugs (prescription and non-prescription). My best advice to you is this: avoid drugs and alcohol like the plague! They will kill your success and your dreams, or at the very least, they will make it much harder to be successful. Source: Giphy The next suggestion I have is to make sure you laugh hard and laugh often. Laugh with your family. Laugh with your friends. Laugh with co-workers. Laugh with enemies…yes, enemies, if you can. When I learn to laugh at my faults and mistakes, it makes it much easier to work through them. Laughing will improve your personality and your overall outlook on life. So, go watch a funny movie or buy a joke book; just start laughing. Remember that it is okay to laugh at yourself. When other people are involved, make sure you aren’t laughing at them, but with them. Laughter is contagious, if you begin laughing, you just might get other people laughing with you and by doing this, you just might make, not only your life, but also the lives of everyone around you a little bit better. The next suggestion I have is to fast on a regular basis. It’s okay; you can make it for a short period of time without food. Start small and gradually increase the amount of time. Fasting cleans the built-up toxins out of your body and allows your body to repair itself. The simple explanation for this is that if you deprive your body of food for a short time, it will begin looking for other sources of energy. Rather than attacking healthy tissue and cells in your systems, it will go after the “bad” stuff first. This includes unhealthy cells and bodily tissue, thereby eliminating this harmful stuff. Fasting for too long will cause your body to begin going after the healthy cells and bodily tissue. I generally try to fast for twenty-four to forty-eight hours once a month. Sometimes however, I may fast for more than forty-eight hours several times a year. If you are new to fasting, I suggest you try a twenty-four hour fast to begin with. As with everything else in life, use common sense and listen to your body. It is an amazing creation and it knows exactly what it needs. Image by Himsan from Pixabay On top of the physical benefits of fasting, you have the added benefit of experiencing a great deal of spiritual and mental growth. You will clear your mind and feel “cleaner” in your spirit. You might have a problem that you have been working on before fasting and...
10 minutes | Jul 27, 2022
Episode 2: How To Bring Out The Best In Others
Click here to watch on YouTube As every successful person understands, achieving one’s own objective is simply not enough. Sooner or later, you realize that there is more to life than just achieving your own objectives. One of life’s greatest challenges and most rewarding responsibilities is to continually encourage others to live up to their potential! Regardless of if you are a business leader, friend, parent or spouse, one of the most important obligations you have is to lift others to new levels of success and help them live to their potential. If done properly, this can be made into a winning situation for all involved. It’s important to realize that you are always influencing the people around you, in general and the people who look to you for leadership, in particular, either positively or negatively. Everything you say has an effect and your actions have significance. These words and actions can be used to build others up or tear them down. Obviously, you would prefer to build people up, I hope. Here are ten things you can do to help others identify and realize the best that's within them: Believe in Them: Everyone lacks confidence at times. Sometimes people question their abilities to achieve an objective or accomplish a task. Many times, that lack of confidence can be overcome just by knowing that someone believes in you. Having someone believe in you, in these circumstances, is immeasurable and is often the only thing that stands between failure and success. Think back to a time when someone believed in you, even when you doubted yourself. It made you feel good, didn’t it? History is full of examples of great people who became successful because someone believed in them, even though they struggled with their own confidence. Expect More: I expect more from myself than anyone could ever ask of me; and I can guess that if you are following this program, that it is very likely that you do too. Unfortunately, many people around you have been conditioned by society, “not to get their hopes up.” It’s been my experience that the more you ask of someone, the more you will get. By increasing your expectations, you can lift other people up to new levels of achievement. Has there ever been a time when your boss handed you an “impossible” project, expecting you to complete it and somehow you did? Be careful not to overwhelm someone, but do expect a lot. Image by Keith Johnston from Pixabay Lead by Example: One of the most effective ways to bring out the best in others is through your own actions. The way you act, both publicly and privately, says much more about you than what comes out of your mouth. Your kids are constantly watching you, for the way you react to all of life’s circumstances and situations. You may tell your kids to eat their broccoli, but if you don’t set the example by actually doing it yourself, they may do it to avoid being punished, but as soon as you're gone, the broccoli’s going straight into the trash. People naturally try to act like their mentors and you are a mentor to someone, so mentor by example! Be A Source of Encouragement: How often do you encourage other people? With the pace of society today, it is very easy to get “caught up” in your day-to-day busyness and forget that you can really help someone by speaking words such as: "You can do it" or "I know you can." Genuine encouragement can go far in helping someone persevere. Making this a habit will lift everyone you come into contact with to new levels of success. Try saying to a friend, who may be having problems at home, "I know that you are going through a difficult time with your spouse, but I know that you two will work it out. Your relationship will come out even stronger in the end.” Always Tell the Truth: Many people will avoid telling the truth, because they don’t want to hurt someone’s Source: Giphy feelings or lose a friend. But in order to truly help someone, you must tell the truth!
5 minutes | Jul 26, 2022
Episode 1:Transformed and Renewed
Romans 12:1-2: …offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Watch on YouTube How’s life? Really, take off the mask for a minute. Look in the mirror and ask yourself how your life is going. Are you all you hoped to be? Remember when you were a kid, sitting under an oak tree dreaming about all that you would be and do? I do. It was fascinating. You were going to do and be so much. You had big plans and big dreams. What happened? For me, I know what happened. The influence of a lost and broken world began to set in. Slowly the demands and worries of life separated me from that vision. It happened to you too. Life happened! You got caught up in this circus of a world chasing things that aren’t real. It’s a form of brainwashing and it’s the evilest form of deception. You started to believe the lies. If you just abandoned those childhood dreams… and entered the circus tent everything would be ok. So you did. After all, the “important” people were telling you this was the way ro true success. If you could just get your hands on a big stack of money, a shiny new car and a big house everything would be great. So that’s what you did. You followed the path laid out before you… by the world The path that so many others took before you. It was paved and straight. There were so many people on the path, you thought for sure that it must be the right way. You started pursuing society’s version of success. You got lost, you forgot those childhood dreams. And now, you look in that mirror and you have no idea who’s staring back. It ends now. Are you desperate enough to change? Do you have a soul sickness that runs so deep it’s brought you to a place of change? Maybe you can’t even look at yourself in the mirror. You can’t stand who you have become. Today’s a new day. If you are reading or listening to this it’s no accident. You are being called out of this society induced coma… to rise up. To embrace your purpose! To present yourself before God. To stop conforming to the pattern that has captured so many people and lulled them into a state of emotional, spiritual and physical bondage.You must be transformed! Renew your mind. Think for yourself. Seek the one who created you! He still has a plan and a purpose for your life and although dormant, that plan will come alive the moment you accept and embrace it. He’s been waiting for you to reawaken that childhood dream. To get up from your slumber. To look at what society is doing and doing the opposite. Take the path less traveled. This path is unpaved but it was made specifically for you. It’s not straight, You can’t always see where you're going, but you don't need to. There are obstacles and tests along the way but with a renewed and transformed mind you will pass them all. It’s not the easy path but it's the one designed for you. This path will take you to the life that has been uniquely designed for you. True success. Are you ready? Stop waiting. Take the first step. Now. What is the first step? Get alone with yourself and your creator. Let Him guide you. I don’t know what the specifics are for you. Change your life. There is no looking back! Step! Go! Win! Michael at R2W
35 minutes | Jul 24, 2022
The High Standards Required of Spiritual Warriors
Click here to watch on YouTube The standards required of spiritual warriors are much different than the standards of ordinary people. The common practice among Christians today is to drag yourself to church on Sunday morning and then live in turmoil the rest of the week. For the spiritual warrior, though it is different. We know that the chosen life is about much more than going to church for an hour a week and then walking out the door and forgetting about it for another week. In 1 Corinthians 4:1–2 it says, “So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” The bible mentions about four hundred people who were given leadership roles. The amazing thing about that, though, is only about 25 percent or 100 of them finished their lives in the will of God. Most were not obedient to His will and failed to fulfill God’s plan. Today, we're going to focus on the ones who did it. The ones who lived successfully and committed to a lifetime of spiritual growth. If you plan to live a life like these people did then you need to use Jesus as your example. Luke said the following about Jesus: “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” (Luke 2:52) Like Jesus, commit to a lifetime of development and achievement. The apostle Paul was a lifelong learner and it's no coincidence that his example was Jesus. He told the Philippians that even though he was well-educated and had the best teachers when he was young, he had not yet attained the spiritual and eternal truths that he sought. Paul’s desire to learn more was strong even at the end of life while in prison. In 2 Timothy 4:13 (NIV), he writes: “When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.” Just, to clarify, Paul was asking Timothy to bring him his “scrolls” which were books and “parchments” which were the Scriptures. He wanted to continue to read, learn, and stay encouraged. During Paul’s ministry, he wrote a lot about leadership which is the role many spiritual warriors will find themselves in. Some of his writing gave instruction about what leaders should or shouldn’t do. He taught young pastors that their life should be the models for all. Paul knew that any good Christian leader is involved with spiritual warfare. Some of his writings instructed Christians: Not to take leaders and their support for granted. To give leaders respect. To honor their God-given authority. In 1 Corinthians 4, Paul shows what a Christian spiritual warrior should look like. Always look at the fruit of someone’s life and not just their words. It’s not a title. Paul believed if a Christian followed his advice outlined in verses 1–2, which says: “This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” Then they would finish their life on earth according to God’s plan. What can you do to insure your spiritual growth? Continue to learn. Many people who consider themselves good Christians have never even read their bible or maybe have read through it once. The leaders who most impact the world are lifelong learners. Develop a passion to improve and commitment to increase your knowledge. To increase your knowledge do all of the following: Read great books. Watch great videos. Listen in church. Read your Bible. Christian Leadership Requires Accountability You must develop accountability. In society leadership qualifications are not always taken seriously and it shows through the lack of trust in our elected officials. Paul discusses accountability in 1 Corinthians 4:1. it says: “This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed.
46 minutes | Jun 19, 2022
Qualities for Godly Leadership Part 4
Click here to watch on YouTube This week we are continuing our study into the characteristics God looks for when choosing people to reach the lost. You can find the last message in this series here, for a quick review. God uses Christians who build others up The first characteristic we’ll look at today is the ability to build others up. In John 13:3–5: "Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him." Jesus was able to build up others because He knew who He was. And He knew who He was because He was living in His full potential. Christians who aren’t sure of their identity in Jesus will severely damage their ability to reach the lost, mainly because you can’t share what you don't have. Most times Insecure Christians eventually self-destruct. Because of their insecurities, they can’t share the victories they have because they want to keep it all to themselves. Also, they can’t share their defeats in the spiritual battles they face because of their paralyzing fear of criticism and embarrassment. I have seen this happen to those who once were closest to me. In John 13 Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. How could He do this? Would you wash someone else’s feet? Jesus was able to do it because He knew who He was and He understood the law of empowerment. What could you do if you truly knew who you were? Do you know who you are? Do you understand the power that resides in you? The Law of Empowerment teaches that there is a big difference between secure and insecure Christians. Secure Christians exhibit certain characteristics that make them unique in such a self-serving world: They focus on serving not on being served They focus on who they are, not on their own abilities. They focus on making others better knowing that they get better in the process. They add value to others. Most importantly though, they share their God given authority with others understanding that they are here to freely give what God has given them. Insecure Christians, on the other hand, focus on the complete opposite: They focus on their title or position. Seeking to portray an image of success. They seek status for the sake of self importance. They gain value from others by taking what they can from those around them. If in a position of leadership, they tend to keep the authority to themselves in an attempt to bolster their own ego. God Uses Christians Who Depend on the Holy Spirit I remember many years ago, while praying one day, God revealed to me what I interpreted at the time as a leading to become a high school math teacher. To make a long story short it was simply the catalyst to me getting into full-time ministry. It was all because I pursued His voice and began taking steps, even though I thought He was leading me somewhere else. Ephesians 5:18–20 says: “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. “ Peter became one of the most courageous disciples and one of the strongest leaders in the New Testament. Before that though Peter first denied Jesus because he was fearful and lacked the moral courage to stand for the truth. What caused this radical change? Peter realized who he was and turned everything over to the Holy Spirirt. The denying Peter was filled with self. Before Pentecost he was self-centered, selfish, self-sufficient. This caused inconsistency, instability, and denying Jesus. In Acts 2 Peter is filled with the Spirit of the resurrected Christ.
45 minutes | May 29, 2022
My Lord and My God!
Watch on YouTube John 1:14 New International Version: “14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”In a world that has over 4000 recognized religions, choosing which path to take towards spiritual enlightenment can be confusing. Many of these belief systems are practiced by their followers without much controversy. In fact if you made a public proclamation that you have given your life and your will over to the flying green jelly bean monster, most people would be ok with that. Why then is there so much controversy surrounding the name of Jesus? Why do so many unbelievers get angry or frustrated at His name? I Googled Jesus today and got more than 3.5 billion results. There have been countless books written about Him. Some people don’t believe and some people want to call Jesus a good moral teacher or a prophet who brought wisdom into the world. The truth though, is that Jesus claimed to be God and we have a decision to make about that claim. We either believe Him or we don’t believe Him. There really are no other choices. C.S. Lewis has said the following: “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” There are only two options. His revelation of Himself as God must be either true or false. There are no other choices. So what do you believe? Have you thought about it? This is the single most important decision you will ever make. Photo: Peter Miller on flickr Let’s explore the possible alternatives and decide what we believe based on the evidence. The three possibilities are that He was lying and knew He was lying; He was crazy and therefore He didn’t realize He was lying; or He is God. The first possibility is that Jesus was lying and knew it. . What if Jesus was a liar? If He knew he was not God then He was lying and betraying the trust of His followers. He taught others to be honest whatever the cost so lying and betraying others would mean that He was a fraud. He instructed people to trust Him as the only way to heaven and many people did but if He was lying then this would make Him a monster. If He was lying or deceiving His followers with claims or promises He couldn’t keep then He was evil. If this was the case and Jesus was knowingly lying about who He was then He was nothing more than a complete failure. His claim led to His crucifixion, an extremely painful experience that could have been stopped at any time by admitting He was lying. Those who say that He was a good moral teacher must explain how that could be if He was intentionally lying to people about who He was. A lying Jesus isn’t compatible with what we know about Him, the way He lived or the things He said. If you examine the lives’ of the people who knew Him in the bible as well as the people who know Him today the results are amazing. So what happens to these people? Alcoholics become sober; cowards become courageous; the hateful learn to love; selfish people become generous; sinners learn to repent and the list goes on. It just wouldn’t make sense for Him to be a liar. Someone who lived the perfect life that He lived,
24 minutes | Apr 24, 2022
Who Was Jesus
Watch on YouTube John 14:1-14 (ESV): I Am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life: 14 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; [a] believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?[b] 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”[c] 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also.[d] From now on you do know him and have seen him.” 8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. 12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me[e] anything in my name, I will do it. For non believers, the name of Jesus many times causes negative emotions. These emotions take many different forms. It confuses them. It embarrasses them. It makes them angry. It makes them want to change the subject. It makes them want to argue. But why? If you go to a friend and bring up the subject of god (lower case) then people are ok but when you bring up the name of Jesus people have a problem. When Jesus started His mission here on Earth people began to realize that He was making many amazing and hard to believe statements about who He was, why He was here and what was happening. How could a simple carpenter from Nazareth be saying such things? So what were some of these statements that He made: He was making claims that would make Him equal to God. He was the only way to salvation. He was the only way to forgiveness of sins. Photo:TC_Perch at Pixaby Today we will begin looking at the claims Jesus made and decide if they were true. The truth isn’t about what you want to believe but what is real.I We live in a world were people believe in many different things and in many cases those things are not real. So what about Jesus? Who did He claim to be? Are those claims true? Let’s start at the beginning. He claimed to be God. Many different belief systems believe in a “god” or a spirit of the universe who created and is in charge of the world. Muslims, Jews, and Hindus all believe in a God that knows them personally and takes an active role in this planet's affairs. Believing in Jesus takes it one step further. God became man through Jesus. This is what makes being a Christian far different then the other belief systems. Jesus Christ is not a first and last name. In Greek the name Jesus means “the lord saves” and Christ mean “anointed one” which points towards a King and/or a priest. The Old Testament promised His coming and the New Testament makes it clear that Jesus Christ is God. The references throughout the scripture could only apply to God. These are so many scriptures in both the Old and New Testament referring to Jesus and how it had to be Him. The characteristics Jesus had can only be true of God. Jesus is self-existent. (Existing independently of any cause, as God. –Dictionary.com) John 1:2 (NIV): 2 He was with God in the beginning. Jesus is omnipresent. (Present everywhere at the same time.
34 minutes | Nov 16, 2021
Qualities for Godly Leadership Part 3
God Uses Leaders Who Trust Him Click here to watch on YouTube Abraham trusted God for the things promised. He had faith. In Romans 4:19–21 it says “Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.’ Hebrews 11:1-13 contains a long list of other Bible heroes who stood upon the word of God and learned to trust Him. Like men and women of faith today, they all had certain characteristics in common. Developing the following list of character traits in your own life will help you trust God while pursuing the things He has called you to. Vision: They see the promises of God in the distance. Confidence: They are certain of the promises of God. Passion: They accept the promises of God. Courage: They look at God not the circumstance. Ownership: They know that everything belongs to God. Dreams: They allow their God-given dreams to drive them. Past: They make sure their future is bigger than their past. God Uses Leaders Who Serve Others In a world where people are mainly concerned about their own comfort and happiness, you can learn to be different. Learn to stand out in both your attitude and actions and you will be far ahead of a self oriented society. Learn to serve. Serve just to do the right thing without worrying who’s watching. You should strive to develop a Christ-like attitude. Follow the example of Jesus in Philippians 2:5–8 which says: “ Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!” Paul is telling us to develop the same attitude of service and desire for action that Jesus had. He was God but He cared more about why He was here than who He was. He made sure that He followed God’s purposes. Jesus knew that if He was able to meet people’s needs right where they were, then he would succeed in fulfilling His mission. Humility is important for discipleship. A christian leader is not more important than anyone else but their actions are for the simple reason that other people are watching them. In order to maintain your humility, remember the following points: No matter how much you achieve you are still human. Appreciate your team. Depend on other people. Recognize the different gifts of others. Don’t hold people to standards unless you hold yourself to them. God Uses Leaders Who Discover Develop and Use Their Gifts Image from pexels In 1 Timothy 4:13–16 it says: “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” Stronger Christian leaders rise when they first identify their gifts and discover new opportunities to use them. You must find your gifts for the sake of ministry and not for your own selfish ambitions. This allows you to take responsibility for your own growth. Being an example for other believers. Knowing of your gift and learning to develop it will make you want to use it. When you use your gift in service, it will grow and you will be given a place of influence. Be aware of the influence. Do not abuse it but use it for God. Serve when needed, how needed, where needed. You can expect results when you have been faithful in using your gifts and...
37 minutes | Oct 19, 2021
Qualities of Godly Leadership Part 2
Click here to watch on YouTube Today we are going to continue our discussion on the traits needed to be used by God. God Uses Leaders Who Are Completely Available to Him. It says in Romans 12:1–2: "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. " You are supposed to be different than worldly people. You were created for a reason. That means that you must be available to God’s call, will and plan. This is the only path to true and lasting success in this world and into eternity. Godly leadership is when He can use you whenever and wherever. One of the most important things to remember is that God sees the big picture all the time even when we don't. Therefore, His plan needs total surrender all the time. You can not live with one foot in the world and one foot in God's kingdom. Surrender to God is the way to achieve victory in this world while we're still here. It leads to spiritual growth , ministry growth and a freedom that you never could have imagined when you lived your old ways. Your attitudes, and desires will change as we continue this journey as a spiritual leader. You will suddenly realize that God is doing for you what you could not do for yourself. You will no longer feel compelled to confirm your self-worth in a broken world because God will confirm it. You will stop struggling to gain status because you will realize that because it's all in His hands, you will have nothing to lose. You will take off that mask you have been wearing because you will have nothing to hide God Uses Leaders Who Pray Image by johnhain at pixaby The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective (James 5:16). You need to make prayer an important part of your life. Jesus mentions three types of prayer in Matthew 7:7: We need to ask. We gain the promise of God by faith. We need to seek. You will find God’s will. We need to knock. We pray for someone who can’t or won’t pray for themselves. Persist in this area through every life circumstance. You will be amazed at what happens. God Uses Leaders Who Learn His Word In 2 Timothy 2:15 Paul says: "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth." and 2 Timothy 3:16–17 says that "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." Image by George Bannister on flickr.com God wants His people to learn His words. It's powerful! A leader who learns God’s Word doesn’t read the Bible just to know what is found where. They know that it is essential to study God’s Word and the purpose is to understand its meaning. The Holy Spirit helps and guides as you study Studying God's word means you ask and answer questions as you are reading. Learning to ask the right questions is essential to solid understanding. Some questions you need to be ask are: What did it mean to the original audience? What is the universal and timeless principle we can learn now? What should we do in response to it? When you determine the answers to these questions you get closer to making a correct interpretation. You can also help to increase your understanding by the use of study bibles, mentors and group study. Remember that learning your bible will take a lifetime and you don’t need all the answers before you step out in faith. God Uses Leaders Who Change Lives The Bible says in Romans 1:14-16 :" I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.
44 minutes | Oct 5, 2021
Qualities for Godly Leadership Part 1
Click here to watch on Youtube Today we are going to discuss the traits needed to be used by God. Psalm 78:72(NIV) says: “And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.” Every leader has an obligation to make a positive difference in society but many times a leader does not rise to face the challenge. When this happens everyone loses. It is usually because they have not prepared their hearts to serve. Leadership skills are essential and must be learned and developed. It’s important for you to learn and develop into a leader before actually leading anyone. The first step in this process is to examine your heart with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This is important because a leader with a wrong heart can be dangerous and destructive. A quick look at our society should be evidence of the damage that can be done by a leader with wrong motives. Photo by wikimedia commons A heart committed to God is essential to Christian leadership but a good heart does not automatically produce an effective leader. You can have a Christ-like heart and still not be an effective leader. I know many people in my own life who love God but are not effective leaders at their jobs or in their homes. In fact our churches are filled with these people every Sunday. There must be a desire to make a difference. So here are the traits you must learn and develop in order to grow into the leader that God intended you to be: You must understand your purpose. 1 Corinthians 12:4–7 (NIV): There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 1 Corinthians 12:27 (NIV): Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. Leaders who are used by God discover their purpose in life. I like to refer to that as your life vision. It’s the job God gave you to do while here on Earth. It’s your assignment. Think of an airplane flying from New York to LA, it is off course most of the time. This doesn’t prevent it from reaching its destination though. Throughout the flight, the pilot continues to make small adjustments and eventually they land at their destination. Think of your life the same way. You have to be constantly making small changes and adjustments in your own life to keep yourself on the course God has planned for you. Learning to do this will help you to grow toward your maximum potential. It will help you to sow seeds that will benefit others. Remember your God-given vision is not about you at all but about those you can help. This can be a painful lesson to some who have always thought that life was just about them. Knowing your purpose is essential to effective leadership because God works differently in everybody’s life to make His will known. Be aware that He will use both brokenness and an awareness of your own spiritual gifts:to reveal your purpose. Many people don’t realize that God will use your biggest failures, greatest defeats, biggest pain as a way to reach other people. This will cause you to fully surrender to the love and care of Jesus. You will begin to see the world through His eyes and see others the way God sees them, allowing a burden to develop to lead the broken of the world. Photo by mindfulcoach Don’t fear brokenness, it shows your relationship with God is growing. With it, you will develop urgency about needs in the lives of people. God doesn’t allow brokenness in your life to cause you harm but He knows that it is necessary in a broken world in order to develop a vision to make an eternal difference. Finding God’s plan for you will show you a specific need that requires personal involvement. Some clues to figuring out what it is can be found in your ministry strengths and gifts. Remember that God doesn’t make junk.
44 minutes | Sep 28, 2021
Leading Yourself Before Leading Others
Click Here To Watch On YouTube It’s so important to develop effective leadership skills and it all begins with leading yourself. So how do you develop effective self leadership? There are 3 components. They are spiritual development which prepares you personally; strategic development which helps you plan an effective course of action; and skill development which teaches you how to interact with others. Hebrews 4:12-13 (NIV) says 12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Photo by Nelson Pavlosky on flickr The first thing to consider is that leading yourself before leading others is not selfish. Think of when you are on an airplane and the flight attendant demonstrates the use of the oxygen mask. They always tell you to make sure that your mask is secure before you try to help someone else. That is because without taking care of your mask, you won’t be much use to those around you. Most people live their daily lives, trying to answer two questions: Who's the boss? Who can I blame? People have trouble accepting responsibility for their actions. So what do we do? We shift the blame from ourselves to others. We don't want responsibility, because we don't like consequences so we spend our days giving permission to other people to lead. When it comes time to accept responsibility (or fault because someone screwed up), the blame doesn't fall on us. In other words, we sacrifice the privilege of leading for the comfort of never having to be wrong. All effective self leadership requires us to be honest with ourselves. There are certain steps you can take to help develop this important life skill. You must develop in the following areas: Ability to see truth. People who work with cash learn to recognize counterfeit money. They do this by knowing the real stuff so well that when something fake comes along they can spot it instantly. You must do this with the word of God so that when you are presented with a lie you can recognize it. A vision. You need to develop an overall plan and purpose for where you are going in life. Doing this with the leading of the Holy Spirit will give you clear direction when the path forward is unclear. Confidence in your own ability. You have strong, God given, abilities. What are they? Seek the Holy Spirit, He will show you. Ability to teach and equip others. Leadership requires that you make the lives of others better. You can only do this if you know who you are. Desire to benefit others. You must stop being selfish. You will never learn to lead yourself until you realize that the purpose of your life is not seeking your own comfort but in being a blessing to others. Encouragement to others. Be a life changer. Start with your own life, Learn to encourage yourself through difficult times and it becomes much easier to help others. Ability to change yourself. You must remove anything from your life that controls you. This includes negative behaviors, bad habits, negative self talk. This come from willingness and prayer. Over the next several weeks we will be looking at the story of Daniel. Daniel is a favorite character of the Bible. He was not the leader of a nation or culture but God allowed him to climb to the highest levels of influence. He spent time with kings and governors. God gave Daniel the ability to discern important issues before the leaders of both the Babylonian and Persian empires. He is an example of someone with a high degree of integrity and character. He is an example of someone who learned to take self-inventory. He worked on his spirit when needed. He knew how to lead himself, making hard choices when necessary. Because of this,
30 minutes | Sep 21, 2021
Challenge and Responses in Daniel’s Life
There were four big changes in Daniel’s life as the result of his captivity. When Daniel went from Jerusalem to Babylon; from prince to servant; from familiar surroundings to strange surroundings he Click here to watch on YouTube was confronted with four radical changes. These four changes were major adjustment and he needed to make important decisions about them. Daniel 1:1-16 (NIV): Daniel’s Training in Babylon. 1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia[a] and put in the treasure house of his god. 3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility— 4 young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians.[b] 5 The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service. 6 Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego. 8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. 9 Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your[c] food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.” 11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days. 15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead. Change 1: He Was Given a New Home. Daniel 1:1-3 (NIV): 1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia[a] and put in the treasure house of his god. 3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility— Image by Siva prasad from Pixabay Daniel lost his safe and secure home environment in Jerusalem. He was taken to an extremely country. His home country was theistic, meaning they had one God. His new country was a center of idol worship. Everything had changed and was unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and alien. College students and missionaries can identify with Daniel’s situation. They leave home for unfamiliar surroundings. There are community bathroom and shower facilities. They go from living in a quiet home to turmoil. Going from a familiar home to a new country is hard. It’s stressful Daniel experienced that kind of strain too. Change 2: He Was Given a New Knowledge. Daniel 1:4 (NIV): 4 young men without any physical ...
36 minutes | Nov 2, 2020
This is my first podcast. I used an old message from when I used to be a Youth Pastor. I will be adding video to my podcasts soon. I wanted to get one posted and have been trying to do it for some time. I am technically challenged and new to podcasting but with God's Grace I am learning as I go. I hope you enjoy! God Bless Michael at R2W