Archive for July, 2010

And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. James 2:23 NIV

Abraham was considered righteous because of his belief and trust in God.  We would call it faith.  Without such a faith in God, Abraham would not have been considered God’s friend. 

  • Have you trusted God enough?
  • Have you believed in His Word with full faith?
  • Would God call you His friend?

Scripture References:  James 2:23; Genesis 15:6

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:15 NIV


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“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”.
-John Lennon
Life happens. Don’t get upset. It is what is. Things unravel and come undone. People get sick. Schedules change. Things just happen.
Whether you are leading a meeting, teaching a Sunday school class or presenting a workshop, you need to be flexible. You can’t lose it simply because things are not working. Keep it together.
Life happens.
The next time things go out of sync:
  • Accept it: Since it happens like it happens, deal with it. Come to grips with it and don’t let it get to you. Deal with it. Simply accept it.

  • Adjust to it: Once you have accepted it, you need to adjust to it. Make immediate changes to get through the short-term period of adjustment. Simple shifts can certainly help you make things work out when you have to make changes and adjustments.

  • Adapt because of it: You’ve adjusted for now. Now, since you have some experience, make adaptations in your planning. Allow enough “wiggle room” for life to happen without having a total meltdown due to a two-minute emergency. Keep good notes as you reflect on this experience. Make the right adaptations as you plan for the next time.

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When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, Do you want to be healed?- John 5:6 (ESV)

Deliverance is derived from the Divine.  Deliverance is disseminated by the Divine.  The Divine has the power to deliver us from whatever may plague us in this world.  The believer’s faith rests in Him.

Jesus approached this one man among many sick and suffering people.  He asked this man directly if he wanted to be healed.  The man offered an excuse and explanation of his current situation.  That wasn’t what Jesus asked him. 

Jesus wanted to know if this man wanted to have his situation changed, not whether he could change his own situation or not.  If we could change our own situations by our own power, many of us wouldn’t have ever heard it when someone else shared their testimony or said that they were praying for us.

When Jesus asks directly, we need to respond directly.  Jesus wants to know if we are ready, not why we haven’t done this and that or gotten here or there.  Being in need doesn’t make everyone ready to receive.   Notice that Jesus had to step over some other folks to get to this man.  The Word says that there were many who could be called: blind, lame, and paralyzed. 

It was obvious that when Jesus picked out this man for a particular purpose.  Didn’t the blind smell His scent? Didn’t the paralyzed see Him step over themselves and others? Didn’t the lame sense His presence despite the pain running through their bodies? I would imagine that at least one person probably wondered where He was headed and whether He knew what type of place He had entered on that day.   Yet, that is how Jesus works.  He can use His interaction with one among many to spark inspiration within the entire crowd, giving people hope that they can hold onto day by day.

If you are willing, the Divine can deliver you.  He can heal you.  He can remove the pain in your heart and soul.  He can touch your spirit by mending it with His Spirit.  Let Him be your hope.  Let Him become your help. 

Receive your deliverance from the Divine and be made whole once again, restored by the risen and resurrected Savior, Jesus Christ.

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A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, Favor is better than silver and gold. – Proverbs 22:1 (NIV)

We need to provide quality service to people. In order to do so, we may have to see things from a program participant’s point of view as we plan. If you run an after school program, think about quality from the perspective of a student, a parent and the principal. What spells quality for them? Look at your urban youth ministry from the youth perspective. Place yourself in the participant’s shoes.

  • What matters most to them?
  • What is of value to them?

Keep this in mind as you develop your future programs and adjust your existing ones.

Quality may not necessarily beget quantity, but a quality experience is rewarding and beneficial because it gets people talking about your program and what it offers them. As people talk up your program and its many benefits and blessings, others will get wind of the good work that you do. These people may not only be potential participants but also potential donors or referrals for others who may participate. That makes a big difference when you have limited marketing and recruiting budget dollars for the work that you do.

Give people a quality experience and get people talking about their experience with your organization.

A good name is better than fine perfume . . .- Ecclesiastes 7:1 (NIV)

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Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.- Colossians 1:28 (ESV)

Preaching has a basic point.  Lead people to Christ.  We do that by word and deed.  Our preaching should be made up of what we say and do in His name. 

The whole point is to point people to Christ.

Christ should be the main character discussed in what we say.  He should be imitated by what we do.  People should come to know Christ as they are getting to know us.

 Paul spoke of being “made a minister” and sharing the Good News with the Gentiles in Colossians 1:25-27.  Yet, he also claims that preaching the message should include two things: warning and teaching.  In essence, we should preach so that we may present everyone mature in Christ.  Preach in such a way that the people may be presented “mature” in Christ.  It should grow your people.

We need to preach Christ.  Paul simplified it down so much that it would seem that we know nothing but Christ and Him crucified.   The point of our preaching should be Christ and Christ’s work in our salvation.  Let your preaching speak profoundly about Christ. Let your preaching serve as a means for others learning about and living like Christ. 

The point of our preaching is to share Christ as Lord and Savior, a means for one obtaining eternal life.

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“God sends us the opportunities; it is up to us to seize them.” – D.L.Moody

Ministry involves being open to opportunities.  I am speaking of God-ordained opportunities, not some secular stuff.  We need to be so in tune with God that we see His hand moving in every situation and circumstance that emerges in our lives.  Our responsibility is to recognize what God is orchestrating to accomplish His intended purpose.

 Opportunities come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.  Be mindful of which opportunities have strict obligations.  If you cannot meet the obligation, consider your other options.  Perhaps, you will need to partner with others to get the results that you need to meet your obligations.  The Bible is clear.  We can only truly commit where our heart has already made a commitment.

God wants you to seize the opportunities that He opens for you along your path in life.  Be careful to choose wisely and carefully.  God-given opportunities will serve as eye-opening opportunities as reach out with god works towards others whose  hearts have not already been won over by His Spirit yet.

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All hard work brings a profit. . . – Proverbs 14:23 (NIV)

I honestly can’t say that Solomon lied when he penned this wise saying. He did write all hard work, not some or a little. He was sure to write it in such a way that even King James Version translators were able to see it as: In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury. Work, labour or labor mean rolling up your sleeves, digging in and breaking a sweat. It brings to mind words like intensity, endurance, strength, and ability.

As a consultant to small businesses, nonprofits and churches of varying sizes, I see a lot of people who are in need of funding. Most of these folks are without any clue of how to get from where they are today to where they need to be in the future without bringing on a grant writer or consulting team. The truth is that some of the homework should have been done before seeking out outsiders. Additionally, you need to have some other options than simply going Reaganomics with the old adage of spending money to make money as bring on consultants to find funding.

Solomon was absolutely right. All hard work eventually leads to a profit. The problem is that we see the word profit and overlook the phrase hard work. We need the tenacity and inner strength to do the hard work that leads to a profit. We have to dedicate time and energy to doing the work in order to arrive at a new place in the life of our organization.

What You Need in Place

  • Marketable Programs
  • Intake Data
  • Available Staff and Volunteers

The grant writer or consultant you bring on will need to know what type of programs you run and how they have been running so far. He or she will need to know who your programs have served and currently serve. This is the demographic data that tells about the percentages of your clientele who live below the poverty level or who reside in federal empowerment zones. Such data tells the story of who your programs reach and help. Staff and volunteers will need to be available via email, phone or an occasional interview or group session to share some personal insights that speak beyond the data and help tell the story.

What You Should Do

Do your homework. Find out about grants and other fund-raising options. Let’s be fair. You are not in a position for your grant-writing consultant to rewrite your program design. That adds to the costs. Find out all that you can so that you can maximize your options and minimize your consulting costs.

  • Research grants that fit your current programs
  • Investigate grants that will enhance and expand your organizational capactity
  • Identify grant-making organizations that fund similar organizations like you
  • See who has supported similar programs in your local community and/ or region

Compile your list with your reasoning and rationale. Call a few of the program officers and discuss what you currently offer. Email program officers a short list of questions about their process if the online information is unclear. Take notes on all of this and sit down with potential consultants and see if they can offer services that will get the grant written so that you can continue the work.

Grant Research Resources (Some That I Like)

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