Purpose

No No Longer Means No

Photo by Gemma Evans on Unsplash

I grew up hearing that no means no.

No one likes to hear no as an answer.

No means that what I was dreaming about is now, not possible.

It means that all that time I had spent processing what could be was now shut down at someone else’s discernment and discretion.

Shattered

Hopeless

Frustrated

You’ve been that way too after someone’s NO haven’t you?

Biblical Living, Lessons for my crew

Someone Else

One of the most powerful stories in all the bible somehow falls at the feet of someone so insignificant he doesn’t even deserve the credit of our knowing his name!

1 Samuel 17- the infamous David and Goliath. It’s a story that every little boy has reenacted at some point in their childhood and why the slingshot became so popular.

I remember the days when I was so young. We lived out in the country where our nearest neighbor was a horse pasture away, through a forest and across a valley. My brothers and I could get lost for days in the woods that surrounded our double-wide mobile home. It was probably the worst house we ever lived in, but man, we were in heaven with all that we were surrounded with. It was a boys dream!

Almost daily, we would don our camis and disappear into the woods for hours on end, creeping along somewhere building lean to’s and makeshift forts in our wilderness. We fought battles so fierce in those woods, the world has never heard the likes of the foes we fought in the mountains outside of Albuquerque, NM. One of those battles had to have been with the Philistine Army and the fated Goliath that must have stood 20 feet tall…ministerially speaking.

We would take our sling shots and marbles or bb’s or rocks or whatever projectile we could find and become that hero so young.

We all glamor in the honor of the hero. Everyone of us has, at one point or the other, stood in the shoes, sandals, or stilettos, of that hero and envisioned ourselves taking their place for that magical moment. But none of us have ever envisioned becoming the nameless sidekick that made it possible.

You know the story, even if you haven’t been in church, you could tell it well. The army of Israel, under the leadership of Saul, is camped out with the opposing army of the Philistines camped on an opposing mountain top. Each occupying the prominent position high up so that each has the upper hand in hopes that the other will make the first move.

For days this goes on but with the caveat that the Philistines have this gruesome warrior in their arsenal moving out daily to taunt that army, just sort of testing them, poking at them, hoping to anger them into making a dumb decision.

David has three bothers in the mix. He’s the youngest of 8 and therefore, by default, he wins the lucrative job of loving the sheep. It’s must be like taking out the trash at our house. Which is funny because it’s the easiest of jobs. Not so for shepherding! That would have been the worst and most difficult.

I’m sure with David in the family, he’d love nothing more than to be occupying that front line stance along with the rest of the ferocious army that was really good at taking naps during this part of their story. No one had the courage to line up and face this mighty foe.

Daily, David was out in his field focused on the sheep. Caring for them. Fighting on their behalf, when the need arose. These sheep were not just part of their livelyhood, I’m sure in some strange way, they had become part of the family.

Two years ago, my wife took it into her own hands after demanding for years that we get a puppy. She found her little love, called it a therapy dog and raised some cash to buy a Tea Cup Yorkie. Hardly a dog, but now after almost two years, I can attest, that dog is part of our family. There’s just something about an animal that can occupy a place in your life that you didn’t think possible.

For David, I think, somehow those few sheep had gotten into that place of care.

So when Jesse, David’s father, comes to him and says, Son, I want you to head out to the battlefield, take some cheese sticks and juice boxes to your brothers. Find out how things are going on the front lines and just make sure your brothers are okay. David’s first thought goes to his flock and who is going to care for them while I’m away on this mission?!

As we continue through this story, we come across this line that you’ve read a time or two before, David obeyed his father. He got up early the next morning and left someone else in charge of the sheep. 1 Samuel 17:20 CEV.

With that line, my mind races to questions like,
what if there was not someone else?

Who might have been this nameless assistant?

Do you understand the ramifications of this nameless partner?

What I see in this story is that if there had not been someone else there would have been no David and Goliath!

The entire course of biblical history could have/would have looked vastly different all because there was no one to watch the flock freeing David to face the giant on a the valley of a battle field.

This simple story teaching me a super valuable lesson.

There always needs to be someone else!

What I gather from this story was that it was a no brainer. David didn’t have to think twice about who this person needed to be. It was a given. It was his back up for when he needed relief or just a shower. There was a backup. A second string. A trained confidant who could step in freeing David to focus on something else.

No matter what position you occupy in life, there should be a someone else just beyond your peripheral. For some jobs this looks totally different than others.

For me, in the church world, I see opportunity everywhere and all I need to do is find the someone else that I can pour into preparing them for the moment when the Lord calls me to something else. Maybe not for a permanent place but for a moment.

I don’t want to spell this out for you in too much detail and so minimize how the Lord could be at work in your season, situation or opportunity, so I pray that in this moment, it becomes painfully apparent how this might work for you.

I believe that the Lord has some form of greatness planned for each person. Clearly not king level greatness as he had for David, but something that results in life change for people. He is a God who constantly points toward life change. That takes people and lots of them. People who are devout and devoted to understanding their mission and opportunity to help as many as possible learn to love the Savior and his sacrifice.

Jesus himself said, The harvest is huge and ripe! But there are not enough harvesters to bring it all in. As you go, plead with the Owners of the Harvest to thrust out many more reapers to harvest his grain! – Matthew 9:37-38 TPT.

It’s time to get creative. Where could you be working in someone else? There are things you look at and loathe while someone else would be honored at the opportunity just to be involved.

Experience, Family, Lessons for my crew

Land Ho!

Today we made a huge step toward a dream we have been wanting to accomplish for some time.
Real estate has always been in our blood. For years now Crystal and I have worked and worked and planned and adapted our setting and surrounding to what we dreamt of and where we felt the Lord was leading next. It hasn’t always been this way. In my mind when we bought our first home, we bought our forever home and I treated it that way.

I need to make you a caution, especially if you’re a first time home buyer. NEVER believe the home you live in is your forever home.
Your first home should be your first leverage home. I’ll teach you through what I mean by that at another time.

Biblical Living, Experience, Family, Lessons for my crew

Time to say goodbye

Typically, I’m not much of an emotional guy, but I’m finding, as I grow older, that there are many things that are so close to my heart. When it becomes time for those things to move on, there’s something of a piece of you that leaves along with it.

Over the past year, Crystal and I have contemplated selling our home. I was always against it, she was never consistent 😏. For a long time now we’ve prayed about owning a piece of property that was secluded, reserved, raw and a blank slate where we could continue to grow our family. There is nothing inherently wrong with the house we own on any level. It has been a wonderful home, that is, after we worked so so hard to get it in a livable condition again. When we first bought this place, it was a complete disaster. But years later, we’ve transformed it into a tremendous home that will bless any family that will own it from this point forward.

I think the thing that becomes so emotional to us is two things. First, the fact that we are leaving here with no defined timeline as to when our next property will be ready.

Second, that this place is something of a Bethel location for us for all the moves of God he has accomplished through us. I’m not sure if that fully translates, but it’s a Biblical relatable found in Genesis 35. We’ve seen the Lord work in so many situations, and not that this location had anything to do with it, it’s just that this location now bears the memorial marks of that movement. We can sit here around our firepit or on the back patio, or around the kitchen table and remember the greatness of our God as he answered prayer after prayer after prayer and added blessing on top of blessing.

But here’s the important thing…

There is more!

Don’t get hung up on the physical idea of more. I’m not specifically speaking of more in terms of tangible resources you can put in your hand. I think so many times that’s where we digress and become overly selfish. This more I’m speaking of relates to the experiences and adventure the Lord wants to carry us through. More for our family resonates around how much more we can see the Lord work through us and into the lives of those around us, including and especially our kids. We want to be able to lead them into places of unique tension.

What’s that mean?

Movements of faith are always faced with elements of uncertainty!

If we neglect to lead our kids into what faith feels like in this season of their lives, how will they know what to look for when faith rests on their shoulders alone?

I can point back to so many situations in my past where I literally felt the tension of faith.

Hebrews 11:1, such a familiar passage. Quotable by so many people. Lived and fleshed out by painful few.

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

Hebrews 11:1 NIV

What we are certain of is that the Lord is miraculous and full of wonder. What we are filled with faith for is that the future is as bright as the promises of God as seen as experienced in the past!

Family

Weeding the Garden

Almost every year our family plants something of a garden. We’ve got this grate space the back of our yard that serves this purpose. We worked it out years ago when we had first moved into our house. We fenced it off to keep our rabbits and determined that it would be a place where we would, not only grow great tomatoes, but also spend time together. Our family really believes in the value of good hard work. All of our kids know they have responsibility around our home, and we thought gardening would be a good addition to that.

Purpose

¿Còmo Amaneciò?

In Spanish they have a phrase that I have loved since I learned it. It’s interesting because we don’t really use this phrase in English, even though it translates well. You all know enough Spanish to get yourselves in trouble I’m sure. Like you would be okay asking someone “¿Hey, Dònde està el baño?” Yes, Hey still translates across languages.

Purpose

Break the Resistance

I’m in a funk today. Can’t break out of it. I know what it takes to break free, but I don’t want to do it. Too lazy. Uninspired. Indifferent. I just don’t care today. Besides that, I’m tired. The reason I’m tired is because I haven’t broken free from the resistance. All I have to do is look the hard ugly image of resistance in the face and tell it to get off. Man that’s hard to do.

Biblical Living, Experience

The Value of Purpose

Photo by Smart on Unsplash

“What am I supposed to do with my life?” The various forms of that questions are probably the most widely asked questions I get as a pastor. Everyone wants to know that they are doing something of value. Recently I listened to sports sensation, Tim Tebow, talk about his desire for purpose in life and many simply assume that when you’re involved in a life of such celebrity that becomes the best purpose of all. He easily and quickly pointed to the fact that to him sports was an on-ramp to a much greater purpose of helping people who are desperate and in need of a helping hand. What a story! But what does that mean for you?

Creativity

How to produce excellence

Photo by Riccardo Annandale on Unsplash

I used to be a perfectionist.

Somewhere along the way I started to relax my grip on what ended up perfect. I’m not sure at what point I started not caring so much but in some parts of my life, I like the fact that not everything has to look at feel perfect. Maybe it’s some of the Latin blood that runs through my veins and the concept of “mañana”.