Quotes from the book: No Excuses by: Brian Tracy

  1. It has been said that if people put as much energy into achieving their goals as they spend making up excuses for failure, they would actually surprised themselves.
  2. I discovered that you can achieve almost any goal you set for yourself if you have the discipline to pay the price, to do what you need to do, and to never give up.
  3. Self-discipline is the ability to do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.
  4. The lack of self-discipline is the major cause of failure, frustration, underachievement, and our happiness in life.
  5. Superior people have the ability to throughout their lives make sacrifices in the short term, both large and small, so as to assure greater results and rewards in the long term.
  6. Successful people make a habit of doing the things that unsuccessful people don't like to do.
  7. If you do what other successful people do, over and over again, nothing can stop you from eventually enjoying the same rewards that they do.
  8. Stop engaging in activities that lead nowhere. 
  9. Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anyone else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself and being lenient to everyone else.
  10. You demonstrate your values in your behavior.
  11. By the law of concentration, whatever you do well on grows in increases in your life.
  12. Accepting responsibility is one of the hardest of all disciplines, but without it, no success is possible. 
  13. It takes tremendous self discipline for you to except complete responsibility for everything you are, everything you've become, and everything that happens to you.
  14. Excellence requires a definite decision and a lifelong commitment.
  15. Happiness is a byproduct that comes to you when you are engaged in doing something that you really enjoy while in the company of people who you like and respect.
  16. There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important things.
  17. Time management is really life management, personal management, management of yourself rather than of time or circumstances.
  18. Dedicate yourself to continuous learning as if your future depends on it-because it does.
  19. The primary reason for success is persistence, and, likewise, the primary reason for failure is lack of persistence, quitting too soon. 

Purchase the book, click here.

What's your one?

I love the topics of self development & personal growth. When I say love them, it’s not just like an occasional hobby but a daily habit. Not ONE day goes by that I don't watch, listen, or read something that betters, teaches, and/or inspires me in some way. But it wasn’t always like that.

I was blessed to have parents and a mentor, instruct me and model a life of self development and personal growth. At a very young age they taught me Dr. John Maxwell’s Law of the Lid: Leadership ability is the lid that determines a person’s level of effectiveness.They taught me that not only in classroom could you learn. They taught me not to depend solely on anyone else for MY growth but to go after it on my own. And I will forever be grateful to them for that.

This blog isn't necessarily for the person who already has their five year growth plan outlined or list of the next 20 books they want to read, but rather the person who knows they should be growing, wants to grow but doesn't know where to start. 

And honestly it could be overwhelming with all the resources available today. I did some quick searches and here is what I found:

  • There are 260,251 book titles on Amazon when I searched ‘self development’.
  • There are 2,930,000 videos on YouTube when I search ‘personal growth’. 

That’s not including podcasts, life coaches, conferences, leadership programs, etc…

I don’t want you to misinterpret what I’m about to say, I’m all about having a vision and goals for your life. But when starting something new, many times it’s ok to start small and with one thing at a time. It’s like a person who never goes to the gym, all of a sudden they show up on January 1st expecting to lift a crazy heavy amount. It doesn't work like that. You grow into it.

If your the type of person that gets easily overwhelmed, I would like for you to consider the following: just focusing on one. That’s either one podcast, one chapter, one class, one goal, one hour, one day, one step forward. 

When I started picking up the habit of reading books, honestly I set myself up to win. How? I picked books about my favorite subjects, by my favorite authors, and the shortest books I could find. Why? Just so I could finish one book. And then I would begin another and another. 

Similarly, when I began keeping my personal planner, I did not plan out months in advance but often times one week or even one day. I was young, it was new, other than school and church, I didn’t have much going on. But I knew it wouldn't always be like that. So I would write down what I was going to do tomorrow or when I had an upcoming test. I included events we had coming up at church and then services I was invited to speak at. Next thing you know I’m planning and reading more and more. 

What’s your one? What’s one thing you can start doing right now that will move you forward in the right direction?

I have always found it interesting how some people say, “I just don't have enough time.” As if some people get more hours in a day than others. Equally interesting, it’s funny how people have time for NETFLIX but not for their NEXT STEP. Nothing against Netflixs, I enjoy a good tv show as well. But can you imagine what would happen if we took the time we spent on lesser important things and focused them on things that really did matter? Imagine how many books, courses, or videos we could have completed? Imagine how much further you would be in accomplishing your goal. Time management and productivity is another passion of mine. But here is the summary: Don’t be so focused on two or three years form now that you miss out on TODAY. 

When I skim through the Bible I see the the theme of TODAY throughout the scriptures beginning from page one. Two examples: Creation happened day by day and in the Lord’s Prayer Jesus teaches us to pray for our daily bread. Could God have created everything in one moment, of course. Could He provide for our weekly, monthly, or yearly bread, yes! But I really believe that He is trying to teach us something, which is: Today matters. It’s ok to start with one. You can break this into smaller pieces. Things that last often were made or built over time. 

Psalm 119:105 includes the statement: Your word is a LAMP to my feet. Not a spotlight. The difference? The spotlight reaches and shows you the end and long distance. A lamp doesn’t. A lamp shows you only your next step. 

Again if you already have a rhythm for self development and personal growth, then keep at it. But if you don’t and are ready to take responsibility for it, what’s your one? What one goal you want to work on? What’s one podcast you can start listening to? What’s one speaker you would like to learn more from? What’s one subject that you would like to grow in? Start with one but don't stay there.

What happens as you make these small (one) wins? They begin to add up. And one win plus another win plus another win is how momentum and forward movement is produced. 

Don’t fear learning or attempting new things, fear being the same person you are today exactly one year from now. A long time ago, I committed to not allowing that happen to me. I refuse to stay the same person, when it comes to my knowledge and skill. To this day, although I reading and taking in more information than ever before, I still catch myself at time focusing on my one. I read one chapter a day, I watch one video from youtube, I sign up for one webinar, etc…

So now it’s up to you. What’s your one?

Chasing Skinny Rabbits

I'm currently reading reading a book titled: Chasing Skinny Rabbits by Dr. John Trent. It's about what leads you into emotional and spiritual exhaustion... and what can lead you out. 

You might be asking ok but what's a Skinny Rabbit. Thank you for asking, the book defines a Skinny Rabbit as anything that pulls you away from a path of purpose &  life and leads you into a forest of separation, exhaustion, and even (if you don't stop the chase) the death of a dream, relationship, or chance to reach God's best.

Each of us have a God given purpose, let's stop wasting time and focus on reaching our fullest potential. 

I'm not completely done with the book yet but it definitely has my attention. So far it has mentioned specific Skinny Rabbits that sometimes we're after, such as: wanting to be liked by everyone, having the perfect body, getting into debt just to live the nicer life, extreme perfectionism, delayed satisfaction, and many more. 

The tragedy is that  most of us won't realize we're pursing a Skinny Rabbit until it's too late- until we've lost precious months or even years in the chase.

Stop and ask yourself what's your motivation in life, what are you after, what do you feel God has called you to do, make adequate changes and live life to the fullest. 

Have an amazing day!

Being Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

It was around 11:30pm on a Tuesday not too long ago, when after an extended day at the office, I find myself driving back home. All of a sudden I begin to feel something inside of me, and no I’m not trying to be spiritual, actually it was my stomach growling. It had totally slipped my mind, that due to my focus on work I had skipped lunch and dinner, and I was now very hungry. For the next moments I’m contemplating the idea if I rather go home and reheat leftovers or just go the nearest burger place and grab a bite. I decide to pass up my street and drive towards Whataburger. (Don’t judge me, lol)

Thankfully that burger chain is 24 hours open and because it was so late I didn’t have to wait long to get and start enjoying my food. A few minutes later I noticed a young man in blue jean shorts and a white muscle t-shirt enter and begin ordering. And when it came time for him to pay, I noticed he reached to his back pocket and then his front pocket and he couldn’t find his wallet. While this is happening, I’m not able to hear a single word what he and the lady across the counter are saying to each but just by observing them, I’m connecting the dots in my head. He then pulls out his cell phone and signals to the lady that he is going to make a phone call and he steps outside to talk. Right when he walks out, I again begin to feel something inside of me, and this time it wasn’t hunger but rather the Spirit of God leading me to get up and pay for this guy’s food.  

Honestly, at first I tried to not pay attention to what I was feeling. Reasons began to race through my mind about why I wasn’t able to and why I shouldn’t pay. I didn’t know this guy, I don’t know how much he had ordered, but I eventually gave up fighting and was obedient. I hadn’t even finished my food yet but choose to take advantage of the guy being outside to pay now discreetly. As soon as I paid I mentioned to the cashier not to tell him I had paid for him I wanted it to be a surprise. I asked for my food to go and began walking to my car, the whole while I can still see him on the phone. In my car I wait for a couple of seconds to see if he ever went back inside (no I’m not a stalker), when all of a sudden a car pulls up next to him. I’m expecting for someone to roll down their window and hand him some cash but the surprise was on me when I saw him get into the car and began driving off.

I was in shock. How was God going to allow this? I had just paid and he didn’t even go back inside to get his food. I’m not sure what rose up on the inside of me (and I warn you please don’t try this at home) but I chose to follow him in my car. Again please don’t do this and much less in the middle of the night, but I really wanted him to get his food. I tried flashing my lights, that didn’t stop him. I tried honking, that didn’t stop him either. But I was able to get his attention when he had to stop at the next red light.

And the following is a short version of our conversation that night.

Me: “Excuse me.”


Me: (with shaky voice) “Hi, you don’t know me but I was at the Whataburger you just left. I couldn’t help but notice you didn’t pick up your food and I just wanted to let you know your food is waiting for you.”

Him: “But I didn’t pay for it.”

Me: “Ya but I think someone paid for you.”

He stayed looking at me for a few seconds and then said: “You paid for it didn’t you?”

Me: (hesitantly) “Yea.”

When I said that I noticed his attitude and tone of voice changed towards me. And I too felt relieved.

Him: “Why did you do that?”

And it was there sitting at an intersection in La Joya, TX where I took the next few minutes telling him about why I did what I did and about my relationship with the Lord. After we said goodbye to each other, he made a U-turn to go back and pick up his food and I continued driving home with a smile on my face.

And it is in the front seat of my car where the Lord taught me a valuable lesson, which I want you to share with you now.

Many times when God calls us to do something or take a stand for Him, it’s going to be outside of our comfort zone. If He calls us to do something that’s in our reach and resources and we can accomplish it without Him, it won’t really require faith. But if what He is calling us to do is bigger than us and we can’t do it alone, we are going to have to rely on Him in faith.

And when we study the Bible all the examples of men and women who did something great for God; we can see that it took both faith and them stepping out of their comfort zone.

It was with faith in God that Jocabed was able to place her son in a basket and into a river to save his life; it was faith in God that Moses raised his staff and parted the Red Sea for the Israelites to cross; and it is with faith in God that you and I will also be able to do what God calls us to do.

I am convinced that it’s time for us to be comfortable with being uncomfortable for God.

Was I kinda hesitant and fearful in following this guy and talking him, you better believe it. Was I out of my comfort zone while I did it, you better believe it. Did I learn something that day that I’ll never forget, you better believe it.

Friend, I encourage and challenge you today to do what God has called you to do, even if it’s outside your comfort zone, believing that He goes with you and make everything possible.

10 Time Savers

I am a firm believer in spending and using our time wisely. Here are a few actions/tips I practice daily.

1. Write things down

2. Plan your week

3. Learn to say "No"

4. Don't do other people's work

5. Ask questions

6. Avoid doing too much

7. Clean your desk/ work area

8. Take time to rest

9. Record your favorite TV shows

10. Block out social media interruptions

I'm always up for learning; what are some time savers you practice?

Defining Moments

Inside each and everyone of us, God has placed a unique and specific purpose to fulfill, but it is up to us to be intentional in making it come to pass.

It’s not uncommon that while serving God and pursuing our dreams we face opposition and difficult trials arise.

But as I once heard Michael Fernandez say, “God never calls us to do easy things but great things that scare us to the point that we wonder if what is being asked of us can really be done. This is why we have this thing called faith.”

Faith allows us to stand firm in the middle of the storm, remain full of joy while we suffer, and move forward confidently knowing God goes before us.

In my life personally, I’ve had to overcome numerous events and situations where I wanted to throw in the towel and give up. But thankfully I’ve been able to rely on my faith in God and the support of those nearest me to continue ahead. And as I look back at different experiences I’ve encountered, I now understand that those difficult moments, although they felt unpleasant, I believe were actual key defining moments in my life.

And today, I simply want to share with you 3 thoughts/lessons that I’ve learned while passing through various defining moments.

1.     Defining Moments remind us of our need to daily depend on God.

Like any other relationship that we have whether it is with a family member or friend, our relationship with God must be fed daily and consistently in order to mature and remain strong. Imagine if we connected with God, through prayer or His Word, as often as we connected our cell phone to charge. I truly believe our relationship with Him would be on another level. The truth is like we needed Him yesterday, we also need him today, and tomorrow isn’t any different.  To persevere and make any type of positive impact in this world, we need His help daily.

2.     Defining Moments reveal us for who we really are.

Just like until when an orange is squeezed can we enjoy its fresh juice; or when we push down on a pen, does the ink flow out leaving a mark on the paper; when we are passing through defining moments that’s when it truly show what’s in the inside of us and allows us to leave our mark. We can say one thing when everything is good, but when certain things don’t go your way, are we the same person? Lets be authentic, lets be transparent, lets display to those around us Godly characteristics that catch their attention and makes them say, “There’s something different about him/her.”

3.     Defining Moments teach us another aspect of who God is and lets us get to know Him in a new way.

We can’t experience His healing power if we are never sick. Nor can we feel what it feels to be comforted if we never have a broken heart. If you and I are honest with ourselves and think back for specific moments of when we have felt and seen God perform the greatest miracles in our lives, it probably would have to be while we were passing through difficult moments.  I used to run from problems, I used to think they were the end of me, but we when I realized that they are opportunities for me to get to know God in a way I haven’t before, I now run to them. For where trouble is, God is there (Psalm 46:1). And if it wasn’t for those difficult moments I would have never said new prayers, and seen God in numerous facets.

Maybe you’re passing through a tough moment in your life right now and you have lost hope in others, your dreams, or even God. Remember that God says to you in Isaiah 41:10...

Dear (your name here) ,

       Fear not, for I am with you;

       Be not dismayed, for I am your God.

       I will strengthen you,

       Yes, I will help you,

       I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Mark it on your calendar today, that you will no longer avoid, hide, or see difficult moments as negative opposition but as a defining moment, a purposeful opportunity to depend on God, define who God is in your life, and tell this world He is faithful.

The 4 D's of Change

Change. Growth. Increase. Improvements. New levels...Everybody wants it but few achieve it on purpose. 

Whether it's in our finances, fitness goals, relationships, churches, or workplace; I believe there are four intentional steps that we can put into practice to see change happen. 

  1. Decide- It all begins with a decision. As long as we are satisfied with our current situation and accept average as good enough, nothing will change. It doesn't matter how many meetings we have about it or how many motivational quotes we read or post, without acknowledging and first making the decision to pursue change, change cannot nor will not happen. I have come to realize that even one decision can have a huge impact in our lives, because of the momentum and rewards it can give birth to. Like the saying goes, "...if we wait for the “perfect time” to arrive or the feeling of “being ready”, we will spend/waste our lives waiting, stuck, and frustrated." That’s not God’s plan for any of our lives. You don't need to wait for January 1st or even next Monday to make a change. What you need to do is make a committed decision.
  2. Define- Your goal or vision for change must be clear and well defined. We cannot accomplish it all at once nor see big change overnight, but once we know where or what needs to change then we can put our focus towards it. There is power in focus. Take a 5 foot fluorescent light bulb and 3 inch laser light for example. With the long fluorescent light you might be able to light up an entire room, but you would never use that to try to cut through steel. Did you know there are laser lights strong enough to cut through thick steel walls and even precious rocks? What’s the difference? One light bulb is wide and the other is specific. One light is focused, the other is not. When you and I define and focus on the area that we need to see change in, we will experience it. Consider the following: maybe the reason you’re not seeing change is because you’re trying too much in too many areas. Stop and focus.
  3. Delete- Very few things in this world come free. Just read the fine print. Experiencing change and growth will require us to “pay the price” aka be willing to let go of the “good” for something “better”. John C. Maxwell states, “In order to go up, we must give up.” Sometimes the reason we are missing out on the NEXT is because we are holding on to the NOW. Perhaps there are some habits, addictions, mindsets and friends, that we need to remove or let go of because they are negativity affecting us, and are an obstacle to change. Don’t complain about regret if you're not willing to pay the price for change. 
  4. Do- Finally, it comes down to putting in the work and taking action. Scripture lets us know, “It’s not good enough to know what we must do and not do it, but we must work and put it into practice.” What separates successful people from  unsuccessful people is their work ethic and perseverance. We need to stop fearing failure. Failure is an unavoidable part of growth. Just as an infant falls when learning to walk, we too will never grow out of failing and falling when we strive to attain a goal. We need to utilize our failures to learn new things about ourselves. Then we need to get back up and try again. Even if you have to start with baby steps the do so. SLOW progress is better than NO progress. What can you do today for the change you want tomorrow? 

Obviously, these four steps are easier said than done, but they are possible.Change is not a bad thing. So stop hoping for change and start making change happen. What are you waiting for?

Social Media Guide to Ministry- Summary

Hi everyone, I recently finished reading a book by Nils Smith called: Social Media Guide to Ministry

Here are my highlights from the book:


-The world around us is changing rapidly, and social media is truly a game changer when it comes to ministry.


-Social media is an ongoing conversation on the internet.

-When you post a video, article, or any other content, you are initiating a conversation.

-It allows the message to go farther faster.

-What's important is that we reach out as much as possible, as often as possible, utilizing all means possible.

-If facebook were a country, it would be the worlds third largest and two times the size of the U.S. population.

-We don't have a choice on whether we do social media; the question is how well we do it.

-Social media isn't a fad; it's a fundamental shift in the way we communicate.

-"Social media will make you relevant", "Social media is free"-these statements are wrong.

-It is impossible to effectively utilize without a great time investment.



-Networks you need to be knowledgeable about:

•Facebook- Jesus Daily (facebook.com/JesusDaily) Pastor Joe Wood (facebook.com/pastorjoewoodfans)and Hillsong Church London (facebook.com/hillsongchurchlondon) are ministries using facebook effectively.

•Twitter/Hashtags- The most important thing to do on twitter is listen. Utilize search.twitter.com and hear what people say about your ministry or city and community. Begin tweeting impactful messages, and always reply to anyone who directs a comment or question towards you. Retweet valuable posts from those in your ministry and tweets that you believe your followers will find value in. Rick Warren (twitter.com/RickWarren), Woodlands Church (twitter.com/#!/woodlandschurch) and CharlotteOne (twitter.com/#!/CharlotteONE) are ministries using twitter effectively. Create a hashtag of a combination of 6 to 8 letters or numbers and begin posting it for your church members to see on the screens and anywhere you can display it.

•LinkedIn- Two primary purposes. 1) Connecting wiht other pastors and leaders. 2)Getting to know the individuals in your congregation on a personal level. Create group or multiple groups for your church members to connect on this network. Brondon Cox (linkedin.com/in/brandonacox) Phil Thompson (linkedin.com/in/philthompsonlive) and Pastors Network (linkedin.com/groups/Pastors-Network-731467&mostPopular=&trk=tyah) are ministries using LinkedIn effectively.

•Youtube- is the second largest search engine in the world and a great way to reach your audience with search ability and share ability of these videos. Upload your videos, title them, and make sure you tag them effectively so they are easy to find. LifeChurch.tv (youtube.com/user/LifeChurchtv) DJ Chaung (youtube.com/user/djchaung) and Elevation Worship (youtube.com/user/elevationworship) are ministries using youtube effectively.

•Pinterest- Lets you organize and share photos of beautiful things you find on the web. Instead of worrying about creating new content on Pinterest,focus more on repining the most valuable content you can find. Mars Hill Church Seattle (pinterst.com/marshill/) and Church Urban Find (pinterest.com/churchurbanfund/pins) are ministries using this effectively.

•FaithVillage- A social network of faith experiences designed around a virtual village that delivers a powerful, free social media platform for members, groups and organizations with a robust publishing platform for Christian articles, blogs, videos and audio.

•Media Social-is a facebook app that provides a broadcast social TV channel through the Internet. It's the perfect solution for any ministry that is interested in launching online church services or online LifeGroups/Bible studies.

•YouVersion- Is a tool for people to read and interact with the bible with others. The reading plan feature is also a great tool that can be used to encourage your congregation to read the Bible in a structured way.

•Instagram- Now everyone with smartphones can serve as your event photographers, and Instagram gives you a platform to instantly share those pictures. You might try having some unofficial contests of who can take the best picture at an event or pick out a couple of pictures to post on your ministry website or facebook page.

•FourSquare- Encouraging people to check-in while at your church as well as leaving tips and comments about your church for others to see can be a great outreach opportunity.

                •Tweetdeck/Hootsuite- These are tools used to help manage your social networks.



-Start with facebook before anything else.

-In many ways it is an all-in-one network for individuals and organizations with live texts and video chats, inbox messages, wall posts etc.

-When it comes to setting up your profile, share what you want to share and keep the rest private.

-Groups is a great feature that I recommend for life groups, bible studies, ministry teams etc.

-A church's facebook page is just as important if not more than their website.

-A big mistake that churches make is not making it clear at what time they meet/gather.

-Strive for interactions (likes, comments, shares) and this will lead to more impressions or how many people see your post.

-Sharing and tagging photos is a great way for people to find your page as well as get to know your community before even visiting.

-Videos have the highest impressions to interactions rate and draw the most attention.

-Encourage your congregation to check in to help promote the church and also see other members who have checked in.

-Facebook makes it very easy to find out who has a birthday. To stand out say something unique as opposed to "Happy Birthday".

-One of the most valuable things you can have for your ministries facebook page is an easy to remember URL.



-Here are some networks to focus on based on ministry area:

Women - Pinterest

Youth - Instagram

Men/Women - LinkedIn

College/YoungAdult - Twitter

Children-Family - Youtube

Small Group - Faith Village

Worship - Youtube



-Remember, when you post on a social network you are initiating a conversation.

-We have three different posts that we typically rotate to:

•Inspiration- We post sermon points, scripture verses, or song lyrics in hopes that people will "like" these messages.

•Information- These posts are generally announcements about upcoming events, links, or some other piece of information

                that we want to share with our congregation.

•Conversation- We simply ask a question. We believe these are our post important posts as conversation helps build community. "How can we pray for you today?" is a post that has proven to be more effective than any other.



-Set a strategy for how often you will post, what various types of content you will share and some growth metrics that you desire to reach.

-A great tool that you can use to measure social media growth is Sparkwise.

-Put limits on yourself as you get started and set realistic goals for posting and interactions.

-Many of your social networks can automatically update each other.




-Too much Information


-All communication/No conversation

-All professional/Never personal

-Create some guidelines among your team as to what's acceptable and what is not, and agree to hold each other accountable.

-Setting up your expectations as a team can help everyone feel more confident and prevent problems.

-Don’t get too comfortable. Change is coming and we need to adapt.

-If you believe that someone on your team can commit to posting once a week, a blog has a lot of value.

-Have wifi available at your church

-How to grow more with more fans? Consistency and creativity.



-Just like any other technology or resource, social media has the opportunity to either enhance our ministry or quickly become a distraction.

You must figure out for you and in your context how these tools can become a great asset to you and the team that you lead.



-First, use an accountability software program on your computer and mobile devices.

-Second, share your log in information to all social networks with your spouse and an accountability partner.

-Google offers a program for non-profits for $10,000/month worth of free advertising. Go to google.com/nonprofits and get started today.

-Facebook ads- You can specifically target an audience and use pictures to capture their attention.

-Don't invest anytime on LinkedIn ads.

-E-mail is not dead and is one of the most direct forms of communications you can use. Building an email database will cost you a little and has great value.

-If you think you might be violating a copyright law, you probably are.

-You cannot post videos or pictures of minors without parental consent.

-We include this on the back of our first-time registration forms and double check that we have it on file before posting any photo online.

The 3 R's of a New Year

As we prepare to say “good bye” to 2015 and “hello” to 2016 there are 3 things I do every year around this time that I would like to encourage you to do as well. And for easy remembering, they each begin with the letter R.

1.       REMEMBER

Remember the wonders He has done; remember His miracles (Psalm 105:5).

A great way to start the New Year is remembering who God is and what He has done for you. Maybe this year He saved a loved one of yours, healed you, gave you a promotion, etc… The Word of God encourages and even commands us to live a life of gratitude (Ps. 118:1).

There are dangers in forgetting what the Lord has done in and through our lives. Forgetting can lead to unbelief & rebellion (Ps. 106:7), make us do foolish things (Ps. 106:20), and even ignite God’s anger (Ps. 106:21-23). But remembering who He is and what He has done aligns our hearts with His.

Action Item: Make a list and write out what God has done for you this year. Let it be an exercise in remembering His goodness and grace in your life!

2.       RENEW-

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me (Psalm 51:10).

Like a fire requires fuel in order to continue burning, our relationship with God requires intentional care.  Year round our relationship with God is being attacked by problems, distractions, and even busyness. We must continually renew our commitment with God. Going with the same “fire” analogy, here are some steps in order to renew your relationship with God.

a.       Fan the Flame (2 Tim. 1:6)- You do this through prayer, fasting, worship, serving, giving, and going to church.

b.      Remove the Wet Wood (Hebrews 12:1)- Wet wood hinders the growth of your fire. We must remove anything or anyone from our lives that doesn’t please God.

c.       Hangout with Fire Starters (2 Cor. 6:14)- It matters who you surround yourself with and who speaks into your life. Find men/women of God you can follow in their example.

           Action Item: Spend some time in prayer, renewing your commitment and desire for Him.

3.       REACH-

I press toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).

With each New Year come new opportunities, challenges, and victories. God is in the business of doing NEW things in our lives and taking us to NEW places if we allow Him to (Isaiah 43:19). A great way to accomplish new things is by setting goals. Goals help you: Move Forward, Hold You Accountable, Transform Insurmountable Mountains into Walkable Hills, and Live Life to the Fullest.

Action Item: Make a list of goals you feel God is calling you to do? Be sure to dram BIG and consider all the areas of your life: spiritually, educationally, financially, family and relationships, physically, etc…)

Happy New Year from our family and ministry to yours!

Leaders Set the Atmosphere

Shortly after I completed my ministerial internship I had the opportunity to serve on staff at Ignite Life Center in Gainesville, Florida. For a season there I was responsible for opening the church, turning on equipment, putting the batteries in the microphones, etc… And I was also responsible for turning on the air conditioner (or heater) in preparation for our services.

I wish I could tell you that I carried out my responsibilities perfectly every weekend, but I didn’t. For different reasons there were times I forgot to recharge the batteries through out the week and now didn’t have batteries for Sunday, or I overlooked turning on one piece of equipment and it would affect the sound, but the worse thing was when I would either forgot to or get to church late and not turn on the AC/ heater. Let me tell you, the few times that happened people noticed. 

Now I don’t know if you have thanked God recently for your AC/heater but you should. lol just kidding (no but really) Just this past week our central air here at our house stopped working for like only 3 hours and dude I thought I was going to die. I seriously thought about siting in my car with the AC on until the AC repairman arrived; no lie. lol

Why? Because you feel it. If it’s winter and you don’t turn on the heater in time, you feel the cold. If it’s summer and you forget to turn on the AC, you feel the heat (especially here in south Texas).

And when I would accidently turn on the AC/heater late on a Sunday mornings back in Gainesville, people felt it. And there was nothing I could do to change that. And sure we would still have service, but it was different.

Today as I look back at those experiences, under the lens of leadership, I submit to you that we as leaders set the atmosphere for what happens in our services. Yes God is God and He can and will do whatever He wants. But what we do as leaders before services kicks off also matters. And now I’m talking about much more than your AC/heater being on, I’m referring to your spiritual life and service preparation.  

How you pray throughout the week, how you develop your sermon/ lesson, how you practice your instrument, how you live and treat others, how you plan your services and get things ready & so much more.

I believe our God deserves the best, and not only Him but the people we serve on a weekly basis.

Leader, commit to setting an atmosphere in your local church, where the presence of God can reach, touch, and transform people’s lives. For it is for that reason that you and I have been called.

Thank you for serving how you do!