Wisdom for Your Finances

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#wednesdaywisdom

  • All of us make mistakes, the best of us learn from them!
  • You have to pursue what you want to own!
  • You earn not based on your uniformity, but on your uniqueness!
  • You cannot be promoted until you are doing something better than average!
  • What you have in your hand is enough to succeed in life if you are only prepared to sow it!

How to Be Promoted 01: Be Faithful in Natural Things

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#teachingtuesday

One of the things you need to know is that you are destined for greatness.  The Lord Jesus Christ in His awesome wisdom has invited you to co-rule this planet with Him! So that means you need a promotion! Thankfully, throughout the Scripture, God has revealed several keys that will lead you to promotion.

One of the greatest keys is to be faithful in natural things. It is my experience that many Christians find out about all their awesome spiritual blessings, and how highly they are called and how deeply they are loved, but they then find it difficult to relate this to their boring, mundane, “normal” lives. You do know that the Holy Spirit doesn’t want you to move into the Lake District, avoid all people ever, and just listen to the Bible all day and tapes of Andrew Wommack and Kenneth Copeland!

The whole purpose of our life in Jesus is to share that life in our life, in our world – in our family, in our workplace, in our schools and so on and so forth.

God has, by grace that you don’t deserve, given you the power to be obedient in no matter what situation you are in, no matter how normal, how mundane, how natural.

What you need to work on to be promoted is the basics of character – integrity, honour, loyalty, honesty. We need to be told to put these things first – we need to realize that this is the power of God at the first level, the level that changes the mundane.

Jesus said if you want to be trusted with great things you have to be faithful in small things.  In your work, in your church, in your life are you faithful with small things?

  • Are you punctual?
  • Are you kind with your words?
  • Do you do what you are told to do?
  • Can you work without supervision?

Start putting these principles into every area of your life and promotion will come.

 

Holiday!

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#feelgoodfriday

On Sunday after church, my family is flying off to Sweden, a place I haven’t been for ten years.  I have realized in the past few weeks that I definitely need a holiday, a rest. Some days I work 14 hours, and my children in addition to excelling in education all help with the church.  Even this second, my wife is organizing gift baskets for people, and I have just been on the phone to KCM organizing our Healing Without Walls Conference with Riley Stephenson.

Now everything God has ever designed has margins of rest. He makes a man, the most complex machine ever seen, and this man has to spend one third of his time asleep, non-functioning, resting. God rested one day in seven, and the Israelites were given three weeks of rest in the year, and a whole year off every one in seven!  That’s being serious about rest.

I must admit, I struggle to rest sometimes, I am a driven person. I want to help the world, I want to walk in my dreams, I want to walk in love, I want to help everyone. But to do that I have to rest.

Rest is part of the feelgood factor in life.  Sometimes at the end of a long day, my emotions start to play tricks on me, I get a little paranoid. That is a sign I need to sleep and rest. I wake up in the morning and my emotions are no longer above me.  Physical rest is part of your discipleship.

So I won’t be blogging next week, I won’t be around. I will be resting. And looking forward to it.

#graceandpeace

#cometomeandiwillgiveyourest

#restisnotlaziness

Make sure you plan rest into your day, your week, your year and your decade!  It’s part of feeling good.  Let me know below what you do to relax and rest…

How to Dream Big 02: Deal with Regret

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#futurethursday

Everyone reading this blog has a past of some sort – all of us have done things we wish we hadn’t done. That’s called regret, and it will stop you dreaming big. It will distort your imagination and prevent you from seeing yourself the way you truly are – several shades of awesome!

But regret is that overwhelming feeling that we wish we could press the delete button on some of our actions and some of our behaviour. We feel stupid, we feel guilty, we feel small because of the power of regret.

In church often people will share a testimony of how they lived a life full of sin until they encountered Jesus, and we learn very early on that God is a good God who forgives. Most churches get this right. However, we often don’t make it clear enough for people that even after you meet Jesus, you can still sin, you can still make stupid decisions, you can still do stupid things. What then? Sadly, churches are not loud enough about the fact that you can sin after you meet Jesus, but your sins are still forgiven.

It’s not that God looks at the person who didn’t know God and says “I don’t blame you for being so selfish, you didn’t know me”, and looks at HIS OWN CHILD and says “You should know better, you are stupid, you might as well stop dreaming!”. That’s not what life is like not now and not ever, it’s not what God is like.

Even if you knew what you were doing, and you intended to do it anyway, and you broke all Ten Commandments, and you knew it was the devil telling you to do it, and you still did it, there is still grace from God to you. God still loves you, and you don’t need to regret, you need to dream.

How can I prove it? Eve was not stupid, she was innocent, but not stupid.  As Christians we fall into sin like Eve – we know God, we know God’s instructions, we know God’s Word, and we know which tree we should eat from and which trees are verboten. She listened to a talking snake over God Almighty, just like I have done and you have done! Satan got her thinking about the pleasure of following his suggestion over the pleasure of doing God’s will. You have made the same mistake as Eve, as smart as she was, and so have I.

And when Eve sinned, she felt regret. The dream must be over now. We have ruined the world now. We have ruined any chance we had with the love and goodness of God now. We feel guilty, scared, alone. We are now filled with regret. They felt that God wouldn’t want to know them now, and hid from Him and His grace.

That is regret. And it is a thought process that bypasses the love of God and the goodness of God. And you have to face up to regret and cast it out of your imagination so that you have room to dream big.  Regret makes you think of your sin and your ugliness and your smallness so much you forget who you are – you are someone awesome. Your true identify is a champion.

You have to tell yourself that – I am a champion and I am free from my past.  Today is a new day.  God is quick to forgive, so be quick to forgive yourself.  You are not the first person to go through the things you have gone through, and you are not the last. Your future is brighter than your past.  The rest of your life is going to be the best of your life.

God has a special plan for your life.  No matter your past.  Eve gave birth to a son who became the great-great-great-etc. grandparent of the Messiah. That’s a mission and a half, that’s an awesome destiny. She became the mother of all living. Everyone who has ever loved you and cared for you and helped you and prayed for you and pastored you and inspired you was a son or daughter of Eve. Her destiny wasn’t over, it had only just begun. And your destiny isn’t over, no matter what you have done. Regret cannot claim you, not when God is on your case.

It’s time to let regret of the past go for good. It’s time to walk into your bright future. All the hidden things that you have never told anyone – you are forgiven, they are behind you. Your past does not define you. It does not shape who you are truly. You are not the person who did X, you are the person who was forgiven of X.

Regret will keep you from your future and from your dreams. You have a destiny, a plan from God, to do something great for your generation. Yes, you have sinned, but you are forgiven, and that must become bigger in your imagination.

Receive this message in your heart. You will walk in your dreams, your past is behind you! Amen!

 

 

Dealing With Worry 04: Deal with Idealism

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#teachingtuesday

There is a gap between what you are dreaming of and what is right in front of you. No matter who you are and what you are called to do. You can imagine it better. That’s why reality always lets us down. We have to learn to live with that, and not let our idealism let us become cynical and let us become full of worry.

I am all for dreaming. I don’t know another pastor in the UK who talks about dreaming big as often as I do. But one of the dangers of dreaming is that you will never actually fully walk in the fulness of a dream.  Not immediately, and sometimes not ever.

This will knock you out of being happy and knock you into worry every time if you are not patient with your dreams and are aware of the gap between dreams and reality. What I call the reality gap.

Basically, the reality gap is this: nothing is quite as you imagined it; nothing is perfect; no-one is perfect; there is no perfect church; no perfect service; no perfect leader; no perfect guest speaker; nothing is perfect.

There is always a big gap between the reality and the dream.  And nowhere is that gap first realized than when you start something new.  I have had a dream to build a 3000 strong mega-church in England since I was first saved in 1996.  And when that dream was just inside my head, it was easy to believe in a mega-church.  Now I have a church of 150 in London, that reality can obscure and frustrate the dream.  I have to remind myself that I am now closer to seeing my dream fulfilled than I have ever been.

You might have a vision to start a Bible College with 150 students and 10 sign up.  Guess what?  You are closer to that vision than you have ever been.  You might have a vision to start a business that makes a million pounds and you make £4.50.  Guess what – that’s the closest you have been so far!

Don’t let the gap between your dream and reality stop you dreaming.  NEVER let the reality gap knock you for six.  As Andrew Wommack (wisely) says: “Better to aim for the stars and hit the moon, than aim for nothing and hit nothing.”

It’s better to have a dream of winning 100 people to Christ and winning 20 than dream of winning none and completing it!  It’s better to have a dream of being out of debt by the end of 2013 and end up paying 1/2 your debt off, than doing and dreaming nothing and being more in debt than when you started.  It’s better to aim at losing 30lbs and losing 10lbs than aiming at nothing and being even podgier than when you started!

And because of the nature of ministry, we are especially vulnerable to the reality gap knocking us out and discouraging us to the point of quitting.

We launch out into the deep, expecting revival and thousands of salvations.  Instead its 5 people sitting in a living room.  You hire a hall and no one comes, and then you still have to pay the bills.  You appoint an elder then find out they never stop arguing with their wife.  You have chosen some beautiful songs for worship to have the band murder them, bury them, and exhume them and murder them a second time.  You invite a glorious guest speaker, they treat you like a second class citizen, no one comes but the chosen frozen, the people who do come tell you how much they hate your church, and then they leave with your people…

It’s hard when these things happen.  But the truth is that there will always be a reality gap.  The nature of pastoral ministry is that pastors often see the world in black and white, when it isn’t like that at all.

You expect a perfect worship service, but it just wasn’t that good.  Well – please keep in mind it wasn’t that bad either.  You leave the pulpit upset that it didn’t set the world on fire, but if it warmed a handful of people – celebrate what has happened.

You spend hundreds of pounds advertising in the local paper and only three new people came – and two of them were weirdos!  Rejoice in that – it was worth it!

I know you have a big dream – I have one too – but I tell you the truth, the most surefire way to kill any dream is to fail to celebrate every step towards it, to fail to enjoy an imperfect execution of a God idea.  At the end of the day, we are all very much human and any church and any business will inevitably reflect that. If you keep on hurting because you don’t allow for the gap, you will become a worried person and always be concerned it isn’t perfect.

Today, I had to send an email out to our entire mailing list three times over, once the link to give was missing due to technical issues, the second time, I mispelled an easy word wrong! I felt a bit of an idiot, but do you know what, within one hour we raised nearly £300 to tile the floor of a Roma church in Bulgaria. So, that’s better than nothing right?! I wanted to raise £2000 in one hour, but why get worried at something quite remarkable!

If you don’t grasp the reality gap, you will get angry at people who you feel are not progressing quickly enough, you will worry about people taking time to grow.  That will come across in all your relationships with people, and cause all sorts of problems.

Yes, you may be believing for 10 new people to be at church on Sunday, and maybe only 6 new people will come. CELEBRATE THE SIX, don’t worry about the four!

That’s how you deal with the reality gap, and that’s how you confront idealism. Keep dreaming, but just enjoy the journey too!

Write the Vision

#motivationmonday

Today, I will be catching up with the Dream Academy posts I have missed this week. Let’s start with something to motivate you.

Right now, get a notepad – the more expensive the better – and write in no more than 2 paragraphs your vision for your future. Write down what you’ll be doing, where you’ll be living, and the successes you’ll be enjoying

Nothing is more motivational than a written vision. Nothing. Don’t just read this, do it.

Food Around the World

I am currently in Bulgaria, speaking at a conference for church planters, and I am about to have breakfast.  I have no idea what they serve for breakfast in a Bulgarian hotel, so I am very excited about that… It’s a surprise!

In a few weeks, I will be in Sweden, then Kenya… All different countries, different cultures and different foods.

I have many people around me who come from different cultures with different recipes. Food has a power to unite people, to encourage people, to just make people feel good. When people are run down and sick, chicken soup… Bring them grapes…

Food has power. I’m not saying be a glutton, I’ve been there and had to adjust my attitudes and develop self-discipline. I’m saying God did make good to enjoy, and make sure you are eating food you enjoy and take time to enjoy food.  Why not try something new today?

Let us know your favourite dish below.

#feelgoodfriday

Wouldn’t It Be Awesome If…

#futurethursday

I don’t have my notes and research to post on How to Dream Big today, so I will leave that to next Thursday.  So today, while I am sitting in the airport, let me give you a few of my thoughts of a better future:

  • Wouldn’t it be awesome if church wasn’t where we went with masks on, but took them off?  I mean where we are just honest, and we save our Sunday best and our church behaviour for our families and spend all week shining, then come together to rest and be honest and authentic?
  • Wouldn’t it be awesome if we all stopped with selfish ambition and trying to be something we are not and realized that we complement each other and add strength to each other?
  • Wouldn’t it be awesome if we always built a strong enough bridge of love with someone before trying to correct them?
  • Wouldn’t it be awesome if instead of waiting for my ministry, my calling, my destiny, we just helped someone today, just emailed and encouraged one person, just loved someone, just did an act of kindness before the day is out?

Don’t wait for the change, be the change!

Wouldn’t It Be Awesome If…

#futurethursday

I don’t have my notes and research to post on How to Dream Big today, so I will leave that to next Thursday.  So today, while I am sitting in the airport, let me give you a few of my thoughts of a better future:

  • Wouldn’t it be awesome if church wasn’t where we went with masks on, but took them off?  I mean where we are just honest, and we save our Sunday best and our church behaviour for our families and spend all week shining, then come together to rest and be honest and authentic?
  • Wouldn’t it be awesome if we all stopped with selfish ambition and trying to be something we are not and realized that we complement each other and add strength to each other?
  • Wouldn’t it be awesome if we always built a strong enough bridge of love with someone before trying to correct them?
  • Wouldn’t it be awesome if instead of waiting for my ministry, my calling, my destiny, we just helped someone today, just emailed and encouraged one person, just loved someone, just did an act of kindness before the day is out?

Don’t wait for the change, be the change!