Posts Tagged ‘faithful’

God is good, powerful, awesome and a whole lot more. Needless to say all the positive adjectives in the world will not be adequate to describe the totality of God, but there’s one word that cannot be overlooked. That word is unpredictable. The saying He works in mysterious ways is a pretty profound understatement. About the time you think you have it all figured out, there’s usually a plot twist that leaves you wondering what’s going on. It’s in these moments that we need to remember one more word.

God is faithful. Sometimes we have to take these leaps of faith. How good is it to know we jump into the arms of the One who never misses and never fails.

Following God is an adventure. We need to trust the unpredictable to the One who is eternally faithful.

We may have to expect the unexpected, but we also trust in the One who never fails expectantly.

faithfulI’m on an adult coloring book Facebook group, and someone posted asking for us to describe 2015 in one word. My word was “fulfilled.” At the beginning of the year, I thought it was going to be “creativity” and there was some of that involved for sure, and “fulfilled” definitely sums up how I feel, but when I look at the year from a wider scope, I have to say “faithful.” Here’s why…

In May, I lost the job I’ve had since 1999. It was an amicable parting, my position was outsourced. I’d been praying asking God to let me know when it was time to go and, I guess this was His way of telling me. It was expected, but I have to admit I was still kind of scared. Full time income is hard to replace, my speaking schedule was not real full, and I wasn’t sure what I would do. My wife and I in our prayers heard another word, “trust.” So we did. All of the sudden my schedule was packed. I ministered at least once every week from May to September. God was faithful. October and November were looking a little slight, but in August I got a call from my church district asking if I would consider serving as an interim pastor. The term would be October to April, the term when my speaking is traditionally the slowest. Again God was faithful.

God brought me all the way through and there are some pretty bright possibilities in front of me. It’s funny, I’ve wanted to be in full time ministry for years and fear of the uncertain held me back. Losing my job was scary, but God was faithful and He provided. He’s always faithful. He can be trusted every time.

Of course, there was another element of faithfulness involved. I couldn’t just sit on my hands and do nothing. I had to be faithful too. I had to do my part and work hard. I’ve got a wonderful family and I am really blessed, and have been for many years, but when it comes to my work/career/ministry this has been the most fulfilling of my life. God is faithful.

Trust Him and do what He is calling you to do. He is faithful.

Check out this gem from 1981…

Yes, 1981, the year I got out of high school (yes, I know I’m old). It’s not THAT long ago. Back then it was hard to imagine something we consider common place. The one guy in the report is referred to as a home computer owner as if that’s a novelty. The thing is, in 1981, it was! Today, what’s really strange is a non-computer owner. My how times have changed. Sometimes I think for the better, sometimes I’m not so sure, but what we have is what we have.

I post this to remind us all that we don’t really know what’s coming. That’s part of the reason it is so important to make the most of our opportunities and of today in general. The world looks a lot different than it did 32 years ago and 32 years from now it will probably look a lot different. In this world of constant change, God is the same, yesterday, today and forever and that is good news. He is the constant we can depend on. That being said, He also said He is doing a new thing and that He makes all things new. I wish I could tell you what comes next, if I could have I would have bought, etc in 1981 and waited patiently. What I can tell you is each of us has today to be faithful to the one who stays constant in the midst of constant change.

So stick with the Lord and create. Who knows, you might just be used to create a better future.

One day, the future will be now.

My Church Won't Accept My Gift...One of the most difficulty things for artists in the church is finding acceptance for their work. I have talked to many people who have said some variation of “My Church Doesn’t Accept My Gift…” What do you do when your church and your gift don’t seem to line up?

Some people get prideful and hurt and leave the church, shaking the dust off their shoes as they go. More often than not, this is not the correct approach, after all pride is the sin that made the devil fall, as such it is not a good motivation for anything done in the house of God. What should you do instead?

  1. Pray. I know it’s the Sunday School answer but it’s the truth. The first step in anything we attempt to do in service to the Lord is prayer. Ask God to give you the right ideas for your gift. Ask God to open up the doors, to show you the opportunities and give you the ability to do them
  2. Humble yourself and show yourself faithful. In other words don’t put too many things beneath you. You may be a very accomplished artist with accolades from all over the world, but your church may not know what to do with that. Look for the needs, do the small humble job, show yourself faithful in the small things and the doors will open to those dream projects. Most of the time those dream projects are visions from God and sometimes we just need to serve faithfully until everyone catches up. So do the mural in the nursery, do the coloring pages, the bulletin cover, face painting at the community outreach and give it your best. Be a team player and humbly offer your gift. Remember those who humble themselves will be exalted. You usually can’t skip the humbling step nor should you try.
  3. Check the fit. Sometimes what you are making does not fit the venue. At this point you have two choices, change the gift or find the venue and neither solution is wrong. Sometimes you have to be humble enough to meet people where they are and sometimes you have to find the people that are ready to meet your creation where it is. Either is an appropriate alternative.

The truth is breaking fellowship over your gifts and talents is almost never the right thing to do. Better to submit your creation to the Lord’s will and let Him work on the hearts of those who will receive it even as He is working on the heart of the one who created it. If God gave it to you, He will also give you the way to use it. It may not be easy, and it may take a lot of work, but God is faithful so follow His example…

Be faithful.

Have you ever caught yourself saying, “Well I would do this or that or the other thing, if only I had enough of__________”? Today’s video blog challenges you to get beyond that to look at what you already have and be faithful with it. Don’t look at what you don’t have, get creative with what you do.

In this episode I weigh in on the recent rapture predictions and give some common sense and biblical responses. What should we be doing while waiting for Christ’s return? Watch the video to find out.

Bible Reading Guide
An important part of following God is knowing what He wants and a great way to know what He wants is to read His Word. Follow this plan and you will finish reading the Bible in a year.
1 Samuel 2-3; 1 Timothy 2-3
1 Samuel 4-6; 1 Timothy 4
1 Samuel 7-8; 1 Timothy 5-6
1 Samuel 9-10; Psalm 48
1 Samuel 11-13; Psalm 47
1Samuel 14; 2Timothy 1; Psalm 125
1 Samuel 15-16; 2 Timothy 2
You can also download your own chart here.

When God Closes One Door...

When God Closes One Door...

As anyone who reads this blog fairly regularly knows, I have been very influenced by the work of Seth Godin. When it comes to marketing and building a tribe, as well as the art of being an “artist” the guy is a genius. Well he has started a new publishing venture called The Domino Project. Working with, I really do believe it may revolutionize the publishing industry.

Well one day I received an email stating they were looking for a street team for The Domino Project and there was an application process involved. This street team would get free advanced copies of books and other information to help to promote their products. I jumped at the chance to be a part of something Seth is working on. I wrote about the way I’ve been influenced by his work, how this tribe has grown and flourished and about all the things the Lord is starting to do through us. My application was rejected.

Why do I post this? Because as artists and creatives, we will all deal with rejection sooner or later and it can be tough, but there are things we need to remember:

1. It’s not an indictment of you or your work. I still love Seth Godin’s stuff and I will still promote it tweet is and post it. He has had and will continue to have a major influence on my work as a creative and a leader. I just wasn’t a fit for this project. Sometimes you won’t be a fit either and that’s okay. The only way to fit everyone’s mold (if that is even possible) is to be totally bland and thoroughly unremarkable.

2. Rejection is not always permanent. If you are convinced that this is something you want, need and are led by God to do, rejection can make you work harder to enhance and develop your gift.

3. Sometimes rejection is a sign that you are headed in the wrong direction. That’s okay too because the best thing to do when you are headed in the wrong direction is turn around. In my case, I really feel like this may have taken time away from other things I need to be doing to be faithful to my calling, so God closed the door. I’m not worried, I know another one will open because God is good.

If we keep these things in mind, rejection is a gift. It helps us to hone our choices, make better ones and helps us prioritize. Be careful with knee jerk reactions. Don’t stubbornly bang against a closed door (unless God is leading) and don’t just up and quit. Rejection is a part of life for everyone, but especially artists, but so is God’s love. Trust and obey.
Bible Reading Guide
An important part of following God is knowing what He wants and a great way to know what He wants is to read His Word. Follow this plan and you will finish reading the Bible in a year.
Matthew 21,22; Psalm 5
You can also download your own chart here.

What if solving the problems and making a difference was as simple as us all doing something simple. If that would be the case, Why not do it? What if changing your life and your world was as simple as doing simple things with great love? Would you do it? Why not?