Walk With God: Wholeness 3.0

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. [Philippians 1:21 ESV]

If WHOLE 1.0 can be described as the time we would speak of being whole but only through the accumulation of those things which could make us feel more significant, secure and accepted. Temporary stuff like the right job, the right partner, the right title, the right house filled with all the right material items or that people just like us.

The challenge with wholeness is that when life takes a bite out of us or any of these are lost, where will our sense of wholeness come from then. The only thing that truly satisfies us and makes us WHOLE is the acknowledgement that none of the above do and only God can.

Then we begin the journey from WHOLE 1.0 to WHOLE 2.0. We add to our basic faith as we walk with God through life. We gain from our experiences and from the answers to those difficult questions. We add some spiritual knowledge, some self-control, some perseverance, some godliness, some kindness and some love. [2 Peter 1:5-9]

If I’m honest, wholeness to me can still be about what I accomplish or achieve. It can be centred around how people view me and whether I am admired for who I am and what I do. It can be about filling life with the right kind of things.

Yet the Apostle Paul has a different measure. And this challenges me. I’m calling it WHOLE 3.0. His sense of wholeness came from a place where the only measure for a WHOLE life was Jesus. The ability to see he would be WHOLE in life and WHOLE in death.

It was not about accomplishment unless it was in respect of what he got to do for Jesus and to extend the kingdom of God.

It was not about recognition except to do everything always with the intention to bring glory to God.

It was not about how people saw him or about his reputation but instead was that more may come to accept Jesus as he kept on sharing the good news.

He deemed himself whole when he had much and when he had little. [Phil 4:12]

He deemed himself whole whether he would continue to live or whether he would die. [Phil 1:21]

He deemed himself whole just by living a life of righteousness. [Phil 2:14-15]

Where the desired fruit from my labour may, at times, be more earthly, Paul was always focused on advancing the kingdom for his precious Saviour, Jesus. His transformed life and sense of WHOLE impacted every aspect of the life he lived.

His goals were gospel focused.

His time was utilised on purpose.

His willingly served others.

His lived a righteous life.

He only wanted what he had. Jesus was more than enough.

He was present for every moment.

He focused on eternal values.

His inner peace remained strong despite the external pressures on him every day.

Dear God, help me to live a WHOLE life like this. Completely sold out for you, where all the other stuff really doesn’t matter. Where Jesus is more than enough. To be bust about kingdom purposes, every day. Amen

 

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Lead Well: Get Back in Sync

I’m a little out of whack at the moment. I don’t seem to have a good rhythm or flow to my week and it is frustrating me.

There are legitimate reasons for this. I’m covering some extra responsibilities so my week is a little more full than usual. But this just demonstrates more reasons to make sure the flow is right. 

When I’m out of sync I am less productive. Don’t get me wrong, stuff still gets done but I flit from one thing to the next, trying to do multiples tasks at once and this is never the best way for me to approach my day.  Posts don’t get written. The book just seems to take ages to finish off. Each day seems to own me.

Being out of sync equals increased levels of agitation and frustration. 

When I’m in sync the opposite is true, productivity levels go up. My focus is better. I have a clean desk and clarity of thinking. The right things get the right focus at the right time.

Being in sync equals increased levels of enjoyment towards the work I am doing.

It doesn’t take much to get back on track, to re-align my working week. 4 things usually help me…

Plan ahead. This is not about having the mother of all to-do lists although that can help. It’s more to do with knowing what are the things which only I can do and which tasks can be delegated. This involves taking some time out to review projects and tasks I currently have ongoing and marking them in one of 4 ways – for me NOW, for me LATER, for someone else NOW, for someone else LATER.

6 by 6 idea. Every now and then I do this Pastor Bill Hybels idea. What are the 6 things which need my attention in the next 6 weeks? These are the projects, tasks or people who should be receiving the greatest of my time and investment.

Sort the diary. Block times in – for actually getting stuff done. Make sure meetings are needed and then don’t overrun. We may not all be systems people but the diary can help create and protect a good flow for the week.

Say NO to some stuff. This can be the hardest thing to do but often the most powerful. It may only be for a season but if it helps make the best use of your time and increases your effectiveness, then NO may have to become my best friend for a while.

This is just my thinking of where I am right now and how to get myself back on the front foot and feeling a little more focussed and productive in all the right areas. Starts tomorrow when I’m back in the office after a few days off. 

What do you do to get yourself back on track?

Lead Well: Think Things Through

For three days this week I was at a Conference in Peterborough with some of the Xcel Leaders. The topic this time was mission and evangelism. In reality the topic of conversation is not important. Instead, it’s the principle of what we were doing which is more important.

If we want to lead well in life we have to be willing to give time to thinking things through And to do so the following 3 step process we were encouraged to use may help.

1. REALITY: Whatever the focus of thinking, how are things right now? What’s working, not working? Be honest. One good thing to do is give yourself a score between 1-5 (where 5 = good).

2. POSSIBILITY: Take some time to think about all the possible ideas. What could you do? This provides a great opportunity to dream, create and innovate, alongside the seemingly obvious stuff too.

3. ACTION: From all the possibilities choose no more than 3 which you could work on. Attach milestones to each one, dates for accomplishment and metrics to measure success.

This process for helping our thinking process could be used for just about any issue. In the end it creates some focus for our energies which have the potential to bring about the much needed turnaround or transformation.

What do you think? How could you make this work for you?

Influence 2017: Session 5

The final session of the day with Dr Robi: Conquering the Giant…

We may say to ourselves ‘Someone should do something about that?’ Maybe that someone is you. 

We are the right people, positioned in the right place, to do the right thing. 

Step 1: Preparation: this about positioning rather than training, positioning by the Holy Spirit [James 1:2-4]

Step 2: Peseverance: not about endurance but rather about faithfulness and continuing to be faithful. For example, keeping on ‘loving’ someone even when it’s mundane. 

One step at a time, which is pretty boring really. It’s about being the same person in private and in public. 

Step 3: Prevail: just as you’ve conquered the giant, get ready, there will be another one.  

To prevail is to become more than a conqueror, whatever comes your way. 

Remember that Gods way is not to take us out of a situation but instead He will help us to get through it. 

—–

Been an amazing day but as always I am encouraged, inspired and challenged, ready for what God has in store for me next. 

17 Ways to Be BIGGER in 2017

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Towards the end of 2016 I wrote a two posts about how BIGGER was going to be my word for 2017. Check them out: Am I BIG Enough? and Jesus was the BIGGER Person.

I meant to follow that post with some thoughts as to where we could be BIGGER in 2017, so here goes.  Are we BIG enough in 2017 to…?

  1. Try something new
  2. Break with traditions
  3. Acknowledge you are not big enough & keep growing
  4. Be a carrier of the vision (of church, work, your life)
  5. Serve others
  6. Love the less loveable. Love your enemies
  7. Rely more on God than on my self
  8. Make new friends
  9. Ask every day for the Holy Spirit
  10. Remain humble
  11. Make room for God by letting go of other things
  12. Keep asking God to ‘change me’
  13. Forgive
  14. Repent
  15. Stop complaining about what I don’t have and be thankful for so much that I do have
  16. Be passionate
  17. Live ‘as if’ this is all true

17 things for 2017 where I know I could definitely grow, become the BIGGER person, make more room for all that God can do with all of these in my life.

What do you think? Would you add anything else?

Continue reading “17 Ways to Be BIGGER in 2017”

Breakthrough Moments Will Come

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I recently read ‘Love Does’ by Bob Goff. I was amazed at all the incredible stories he told. You read the adventures that he and his family have been on and realise that they have happened mostly because they had just learned to say ‘yes’ to opportunity and go on the journey.

I wrote a review which you can read here. My observation was easy – ‘If I want to have stories like Bob then I have to put myself in the right place for them. Or at least be prepared to go with whatever happens’.

This journey recommenced when there was 80 days to go until 2017. That was my way of putting myself in the right place for a more adventurous journey. Or perhaps it was to at least give those goals a good go. It was my way of getting back on track (again) and the desire to see some kind of breakthrough moment.

Here’s what I have discovered…which maybe 5 ways of saying the same thing…

BREAKTHROUGH MOMENTS come to those who are willing to start the journey. They can ‘happen’ but only if we have ‘happened’ to do something.

It can seem like BREAKTHROUGH MOMENTS won’t happen, they just take time.

BREAKTHROUGH MOMENTS come more often to this who are willing to take a risk.

Because they involve taking risks, BREAKTHROUGH MOMENTS can be scary.

However, this is what makes those BREAKTHROUGH MOMENTS so exciting.

Look for the green shoots of progress. It might not seem like much for all the effort but it could just be the beginning of a BREAKTHROUGH MOMENT you have been waiting for.

What BREAKTHROUGH MOMENTS have you enjoyed since writing your goals down?

Hello 2015

A new year offers a fresh start for many. We say goodbye to the old year and welcome a new one with heighten expectation and hope for good things.

In reality, nothing has changed, except for maybe our attitude towards what’s happening.

We make resolutions. We come up with some goals to aid our focus. I have been a long time advocate for doing this, without a sense of purpose, writing some stuff down, creating a little focus, then we often don’t achieve all that we could.

What will you go for in 2015? What will work hard to see accomplished?

In the midst of all your personal health and wealth goals, and everything that many others may say is important, I would encourage you to…

1. Pray like it depends on God. Work like it depends on you.

2. Protect your time with God. Do all you can to keep your walk with God as strong as possible.

3. Read your Bible – everyday.

4. Grab a hold of a scripture for 2015 and don’t let go of it. Speak it prophetically over your future, your life, your family, and your home.

What do you think? What is God saying to you about this next 12 months.

Plan For a Great Year

22 days in to 2010….how is it so far? Have the resolutions stuck?

To have a great year you need to be INTENTIONAL.
To have a great year you need to have a PLAN

‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’

How do you know whether you have progressed in life, grown in maturity if you don’t know what you are wanting to see? What are the identifiable markers for growth in 2010 that you are setting for yourself?

Take up the challenge of changing some habits in your life with the purpose of seeing different results. Don’t travel round the same mountain in 2010, why not try & conquer it this year.

Use a Personal Growth Plan – set some goals, have mentors in your world
Identify your Core Values – make decision based on these
Build the Disciplines – what should you be doing
Create some Margin – make space for the doing of them

There’s lots of things you could do. The key is to do something!

Why not share some of your goals & vision for 2010 on here…