Make The Right Trade

In my search for breakthrough I love that what I get to do is a part of it.

I am still relatively new to this Pastoring lark – Xcel Darlington is only just over 1 year old. Maybe I’m still in the honeymoon period but one thing I am sure of…I am in the place God wants me. Just need to get better at what He is calling me to. (Guess we can all relate to that).

But here’s my thought. Being in the right place with God beats everything else. Even with the stresses and strains going on in life, being in the right place with God can make everything seem right. That air of contentment. That knowledge of knowing that you are giving God your best. Are you giving God your best?

THIS IS IT…BETTER IS ONE DAY IN YOUR COURTS THAN A THOUSAND ELSEWHERE.[Ps 84:10]

Would I really trade 1 day for 1000?
Would I really trade 1 day for 2.74 years?

THAT IS SOME STATEMENT.

Would I rather be a doorkeeper in the House of God than be anywhere else that the world might offer?

You know what, I am probably guilty of saying ‘YES’ to easily to these kind of statements. Crossing the line marked YES but then looking for the option to back track. I am realising that you are either IN or you are OUT. In-between, sometimes, lukewarm, so-so, possibly, maybe – I’m not sure God enjoys hearing those sentiments.

I want to be where the action is. It can get a little heated at times. Being a doorkeeper can get somewhat scary at times but what a rush. Feel the adrenaline pumping. Why would you want anything else? There is no substitute.

Being in the right place with God means you are covered. FOR THE LORD GOD IS A SUN AND SHIELD; THE LORD BESTOWS FAVOUR AND HONOUR; and here’s the think that keeps me on track for my breakthrough, for the breakthrough of growth that I want to see at Xcel Church Darlington…NO GOOD THING DOES HE WITHHOLD FROM THOSE WHOSE WALK IS BLAMELESS. [Ps 84:11]

Help me stay blameless Lord. Help me keep my integrity. Help me stay in the right place with you. Can’t afford to move away…I might miss out on the honour and the favour. That’s where the action is.

Are you in the right place?

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Integrity: The Just Facet

Amongst the reading of the Psalms this morning I came across this little verse. Psalm 58:1 says:
‘Do you rulers indeed speak justly? Do you judge uprightly among men?’ (NIV)

Leaders…watch yourselves.
Christian leaders…watch yourselves.

Speak justly. Judge uprightly.

Is this not integrity?
Be who you say you will be.
Be the same with everyone when it comes to leadership.
Listen the same.
Deal with issues the same.
Provide the same opportunities to all.

To speak justly is to do so with honour, fairness, consistently, in a righteous manner.
To judge uprightly is to do so adhering to strict moral principles.

Be a leader with integrity. It is the diamond in a leaders crown. It is not easy but the rewards it brings, the trust it builds, the respect it demands make the sometimes difficult trek of integrity extremely worthwhile.

How do you fair? Any thoughts…

Integrity: The People Facet

Leaders need followers. It is a simple fact and it’s not a new one. The challenge is how to become a leader that people want to follow. Lots of focus on stuff like…

Charisma
Vision
Passion
Stability
Compassion

Saying that integrity attracts people is like telling you the sky is blue. It’s so obvious, that maybe sometimes we forget. Or do we ignore it because it’s not as flashy, not as much fun, not as up-front.

Winning with people is an essential leadership quality. Building your integrity is a part of that process. The challenge is that it takes time. Lots of time and therein lies the problem. Integrity is a slow process but the most worthwhile process if you can stay the course.

If integrity is the diamond in a leaders crown then it should be sought like the precious jewel that it is. There is no integrity shortcut. In fact, driving your leadership journey without integrity will have the leadership ‘satnav’ shouting out at you ‘at the first opportunity please turn around – make that U-TURN!’

Are you struggling to keep your team behind you? Check your integrity…can you say yes to the following:

I do what I say I will do.
I follow up on those things I say I will follow up.
My word is trustworthy.
I don’t ask anyone to do something I am not prepared to do myself.
I am the same at home as I am when I am with the team.
I am honest.
I always do my best to put myself in the others persons position so I can fully understand.
If I make mistakes I am the first to admit them.
I will do whatever it takes to hold on to my integrity.
I know that I don’t know everything and take every opportunity to learn from others.

What are your thoughts on integrity and winning with people?

Integrity: The Protection Facet

Been thinking about integrity recently and what it looks like…

it’s many facets
the qualities displayed
the benefits it brings
it’s enemies that challenge it
the producers of integrity

Would love your thoughts on this subject and the opportunity to create a dialogue over the next few days. Here’s my first observation: FACET 1:

PROTECTION:
Obvious I guess but integrity brings protection.
Nothing hidden, no surprises. No skeletons in the cupboard.

KIng David wrote in Psalm 25:21 ‘may integrity and uprightness protect me.’ Your gifting may open the doors of opportunity but it will be your integrity that keeps you there. Staying blameless, keeping a short account, maintaining your uprightness – with God, with others.

Integrity is the diamond in the crown of great leaders.

So here’s a question: a challenge maybe: do we all have something that we don’t want others to know about?

In what ways has your integrity protected you?
Has a lack of integrity let you down in the past?

Fight for Integrity…Day 37

Life can throw you some surprises.
Life is not easy.

Living with integrity is a choice that needs to be made with the full understanding of what the implications of that choice are. When life’s surprises come…does your integrity stay strong? Only when our integrity is challenged do we truly display it or our lack of it.

Integrity is hard won and easily lost.
The enemies of integrity…
…complacency
…compromise
…circumstances
…doubt
…fear

Reading Job at the moment, someone who had obviously made integrity a lifestyle choice. Maybe that’s why he was so blessed. He displayed integrity under intense pressure – from loss, from illness, from stress and probably the most difficult…well-meaning friends!!

The holding on to his integrity, despite all that was going on around him, the unwillingness to compromise what he knew to be right was probably what brought blessing to him in the future as well. I think God values integrity.

In sight of a breakthrough, struggling to see where the breakthrough is coming from, circumstances against you, nothing much changing, no movement the way you would like…KEEP YOUR INTEGRITY. Wrestle with it if you must but don’t let go, don’t give in, don’t compromise, don’t lose courage. Keep these words of Job to mind when you are thinking of letting go…

I can almost hear him shouting this out to his ‘friends’

‘I will never admit that you are in the right; till I die, I will not deny my integrity.’

Oh, that some Christians would use this as a battlecry. Stand firm. Keep waiting. In the current climate maybe this is what God is looking for – no shortcuts, no quick solutions, no get rich quick schemes – just good old-fashioned INTEGRITY.

It will set you apart.
It will bring blessing to your life.
It will make you valuable.
It will help you see in the breakthrough you may be longing for.

How is your integrity? Are you holding on? What’s the struggle for you at the moment?

The Many Facets of Integrity…[Day 33]

INTEGRITY…

This might be considered an old-fashioned virtue in today’s culture.
It’s value may have been lost in a society that chases the fulfilment of self with every breath.
Has the existence of integrity made way for tolerance or lost out to political correctness?

One place it still holds great value…
One place it still creates opportunity…
One place it still stands strong…

is with GOD. Holding on to your integrity has never been devalued in God’s eyes. Developing your integrity has never been frowned upon by God. In fact, keeping your integrity has often been the signal to God that a person is ready for new and bigger challenges.

So here’s my questions for your comments please…
Is integrity a one-dimensional characteristic or is it a many faceted quality?
What are the sides to integrity?
How does someone become a person of integrity?

Reading the Bible is not new to me. For the past 6 years I have read the Bible through however, I am never amazed at God seems to draw attention to some specific thought or idea each time. This year, I have viewed the experiences of many individuals and been very aware of the quality of INTEGRITY. It has definitely been more evident to me this time round. It’s impact on a person’s destiny and unlocking what God has for you.

Let me know what you think. Thanks!!

Test Your Heart…Day 20

20 days into this 90 days of believing for breakthrough, for growth. How is it going for you? Are you seeing any change yet?

Don’t know about you but as I read the Word and pray, I am learning things all the time. Reading through Chronicles. Amidst the lists there are some mighty gems…

1 Chronicles 29:17 David is conversing with God and makes an incredible, challenging statement. ‘I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity.’

I had to pause when I read this. God tests the heart. God tests MY heart. What does He discover? Does He find integrity there? Does the content of my heart include those things which God would look for?

It’s a challenging thought that I would love comments on…does not having integrity in my heart mean that my breakthrough might be delayed in coming?