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Posts Tagged ‘ministry’

Active Faith Sports

“The dream starts us on the success journey.” – John C. Maxwell

The success journey, as Maxwell calls it, is a daily thing to do.  Place it on your daily agenda.  Jot it down in your daily journal.  Put it your weekly planner.  Write it on your whiteboard in your office or cubicle.  Add success steps to your to-do list.  Scribble it out on a post-it that you place on your dashboard.  Make each and every single day count by seeking out success, endeavoring to make dreams turn into reality.

“Know where you are going.” – Norman Vincent Peale

If you are starting out on the journey, you need to have some idea of where you are heading on it.  Unless you have been endowed with a divine conversation like Father Abraham while he was still Abram of Ur, you cannot just simply take a walk of faith without any direction or destination.  You need to know where you are going and remain certain of that continually along the way.

“An idiot with a plan can beat a genius without a plan.” – Warren Buffet


The road to success is paved with execution of a well-designed plan.  Whether it is losing weight or dropping the burden and baggage of addiction for recovery, you need to have a plan.  Success requires a plan.

“Ministry is a marathon.” – Rick Warren

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To become successful, you need to develop your plan and stick to your plan.  What I want you to truly understand is that all of your planning will require some adaptation along the way, but you will need to remain dedicated to your destination.  Your success will depend on your stamina and stability for staying the course. If you cannot endure the hardship and heartaches that come along with making moves to make your life better or the lives of others better, then you will not have enough fuel to finish the race to the end.

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We cannot finish the journey and reach success unless we get started.  We get started by thinking through the opportunities and the obstacles, weighing out the pros and the cons.

Active Faith Sports

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And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.
– Mark 6:31-32

Sometimes you have to get away.  At times, you would be better off to simply leave your current location and get some time away from everyone and everything else.  You just might need some alone time with God in a different venue.

It doesn’t mean that you cannot come back.  You just need to get away to get better and go forward.

Look at the disciples.  They had just done some miraculous work in the name of the Lord.  Earlier in that chapter, the Twelve were sent out to remove unclean spirits and share the Good News (see verses 7-9).  Upon their return, Jesus listened as they gave firsthand accounts of their work done in His name.  Yet, after hearing this, Jesus instructs them to Go away and get some rest in a “deserted place.”

We need to see how the Lord wants us working but not worn out by the work.  Burning out may be biblical because we can see it at different instances in the Bible but so is blasphemy and idolatry.  Yet, there are things that we should just do to get better such as resting from our labor.

Do you recall the biblical incident when the disciples could not help the desperate father and his demon-possessed son? Jesus shared that this kind required prayer and fasting for it to come out of the person.  We cannot fast on an empty stomach nor could we pray effectively for others with hunger growling in our bellies.  Our human frailty remind us of our own limits.  We need a rest to revive ourselves for further work.  We need to appreciate the time away as more than a vacation.  We need to see it as a means of recharging ourselves.

As we go further in ministry, we will come to recognize the importance of rest in our work.  At some point, we just have to get away.

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14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” – Mark 1:14-15 (NIV)

Your ministry will call you.  It will beckon you.  It will bother you.  It will burden you.  Your ministry will require that you get started sooner or later, continuing to weigh heavily upon you until you do something about its unquenchable calling upon you.

Where are you going to start? Where is your Galilee?

When are you going to get started? After a tragedy or major change? What will be your John the Baptist type of incident to kick things off?

How will you get things started? Will you preach of the things to come or the things at hand? What will be your ministry and how will you start?

Go into some serious prayer.  All of us have somewhere that the Lord is driving us and directing us.  I pray that you find your guidance and inspiration for a starting point soon.

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“Few things are so deadly as a misguided sense of compassion.” – Chuck Colson

I was introduced to Chuck Colson via the radio.  My mom would listen to KNX 1070 AM out of L.A. as we would ride to my private Lutheran school in Covina as she would prepare to commute into the City of Angels.  He was a guest spotlight on Dr. James Dobson’s brief radio segment “Focus on the Family.” I was intrigued by his delivery of conviction for those who needed compassion and hearing of his stint in prison.  Oddly enough, I had been introduced to the man before.

Some time after Watergate, when Gerald Ford served as the President of the United States, my father had ranted on and on with one of his fellow academic and intellectual buddies about Liddy, Colson and Nixon.  I was real small then, but I knew something about Nixon.  Liddy and Colson were just names to me, but I knew Nixon.  I knew that California had produced a former Senator and Vice President to Eisenhower, eventually electing him to White House after a bitter defeat against JFK previously.  I just heard the name Colson, from overhearing my dad and his academic brothers saying, and how he got what he deserved just like the rest of them, the crooks.

I never would have put the two together if I had never gotten back into church and tried to earnestly find my ministry in service to God.  I got into evangelism, including a neat program called Angel Tree.  Angel Tree helped the children of the incarcerated with Christmas gifts during the Christmas holidays.  I loved the concept.  I eventually learned that it was through Prison Fellowship which was founded by Chuck Colson. 

The light went off in my head.  That was the dude who my dad and his friends had bad-mouthed so badly due to his political slip-ups and the same guy who had been interviewed by Dr. Dobson.  Imagine that.  People do make changes in their lives.  Colson demonstrated so.

I read his book The Body numerous times.  He hit me hard with a true perspective on the universal church of God as one body, one family, to God’s glory.  I also read Life Sentence and Faith on the Line.  Both books challenged me.  Life Sentence gave me a new perspective on how we can live with God’s consequences and still seek to learn the life lessons in the midst of our misery.  Faith on the Line let me see that the challenge to be courageous and go against the social and political grain must be met by those who have the faith to depend on God’s strength in times of such monstrous need.

God bless what Colson learned and learned to live out, writing, speaking, preaching, teaching and ministering to those in need.  He truly served his time.

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Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease! – Proverbs 23:4 (NKJV)

The Word is clear.  We can be blessed with riches at birth or through some hard work.  Nevertheless, we should not work ourselves to the point of exhaustion for a few more dollars here and there.  Imagine what would happen if we just did what we were required to do and nothing else.  Imagine using your gifts and talents to the maximum capability for yourself and you family.

My profile on Shout Life reads like my other online professional profiles.  As a poet, author  and consultant, I am juggling my time, doing my best at balancing  online content and updates.  I use Lulu.com for my print-on-demand and e-books.  Most of what I have written and published so far has been faith-based and inspirational poetry.  Words from the Underground was my most secular works of poetry that was influenced by my work in street ministry in San Diego.    Additionally, I have an online storefront for my accessories and gear at http://www.zazzle.com/lifepath08 .   Join the network of support through Life Path Consulting Services.    Subscribe to Prayer Pages our weekly newsletter.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

I am working hard.  There’s a pair of new books due out next month, both poetry with different themes.  I am launching another aspect of the business consulting services component and expanding Life Path Publishing’s offerings beyond poetry and guidebooks.  I am busy with work, but I refuse to overwork myself in any pursuit to become rich.

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When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. – Matthew 25:31-33 (NIV)

On the Day of the Lord, the Lord will judge the people.  He will come in his glory “and all the angels with Him,” sitting up His glorious throne.  At that time, He will judge the works of us all as believers.  Here, in the Gospel of Matthew, it is written that He will have all the nations gathered before Him.  I do not mean to offer a deep discussion on or explanation of eschatology, but I must share that the sheep and goats are of the Lord’s flock.

The Lord will separate each of us based upon our attitude and actions related to the poor, the imprisoned, the hungry and others.  He will pass judgment on how well we loved our neighbor.  He will not measure our actions based upon something that He has hidden from us.  He is a righteous judge.  After all, He is the Good Shepherd.  He will separate the sheep from the goats.

Which side will you stand on when the Lord judges the ways of men? Will you be among the sheep? Or, will you be among the goats? Will you be on the right or the left? Which will it be?

Take into consideration the entire chapter 25 of Matthew.  Consider how well you are preparing for the Lord’s coming day.  Read it and the prophecies related to the day of the Lord.  Read up on Joel and Zephaniah’s prophecies about the day of the Lord.

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. – Matthew 25:40 (KJV)

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 But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.
  -Titus 2:1 (ESV)

There is nothing that comes naturally to us in this new life.  Our rebirth as children of God leads us to enter into a new life with a blank slate.  We are to put off the old man who has lived within us for so long, so that we may put on the new man who is to be developed and nurtured within us as new creations in Christ.

Sometimes it works.  At other times, it just doesn’t work.  We fail when we fail to rely upon the Holy Spirit.  We tend to not mature as steadily when we focus more on what we will get out of it or gain from it rather than simply submitting to the will of the Spirit.  We lose out when we lose sight of the unveiled mysteries that God has revealed to us through His Word and by His Holy Spirit.

Paul admonishes Titus to teach what is “sound doctrine.” In doing so, he shares with Titus how to lead multiple generations in ministry.  He offers a strategy for incorporating the people by empowering his people to teach one another in the Christian life.

Titus is to “exhort and rebuke with all authority”(Titus 2:15 ESV).  He, as the pastor and spiritual leader of the church, is to lead, guide, direct and provide the means for the older men to minister and mentor the younger men as well as the older women to do the same for the younger women.  In essence, according to Paul’s instructions to Titus, everyone has a role to play within the ministry of the church, ministering to each other in unity.

Read Titus 2 in its entirety.  Read through it, then study it.  See what God asks of us as believers when it comes to ministering to one another.  Pray over it.  Subject yourself to pastoral authority for the good of all concerned.  Do not simply go along to get along.  Give of yourself, sharing your experiences and lessons learned.  Let God use you to minister to your brothers and sisters so that the entire body of Christ will be strengthened in “sound doctrine.”

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