Have you ever set back and thought, "There has to be more." There has to be more that I can do, more to my life. I have stood in successes of past victories so long that I am afraid to face the challenges that tomorrow holds for too long. For me, the difference between a good idea and a God idea is that a good idea happened yesterday and the God idea is waiting on me tomorrow.
- ► 2011 (41)
- ► 2010 (190)
- ▼ 2009 (323)
Why do we say we have the heart of Jesus and refuse to help those that are in need?
Strange week for me. Even tough at some point, but I will survive. What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.
Mark Batterson blogged about The Valley of Eschol here.
- Wednesday was the end of the I Dare You series and this is the last week of The Dare. I have loved watching Thrive Students get closer to God during this series.
- It was good to have Joseph back with the band. The electric guitar adds a lot to the sound.
- My favorite part of the night was in the altars, sitting back and watching students praying for other students.
- We have a lot to look forward to. Pastor Steven is speaking next week, Spring Break, and More Than A Rock Star is going to be sick.
- Thrive Students are some of the most awesome students in the word, and that makes me one of the luckiest Youth Pastors alive.
Eric is a very transparent person by nature and I am not. However, I want to put the counseling antics and the philosophical notions to the side and write this blog from my heart. There are several things I am realizing about myself and I hope this challenges you to evaluate yourself too.
Ambition--I am a very ambitious person by nature. I will do whatever necessary to attain my goals and I am usually not satisfied with status quo. This has never been a problem in my life until recently. I am trying to establish myself in my new career now that I have my M.Ed., but I am hitting several walls. At what point does ambition cause you to take matters in your own hands? I have realized that my ambition has blinded me to the open doors that God has waiting for me.
Tact--This has always been a work in progress for me. I am a "what comes up, comes out" kinda girl. Luckily, Eric has helped me temper this over time. However, some days it is hard to think before I speak and be careful of what I say. It is obviously easier to be painfully honest with people. I say I am a realist, but am I? Does blatant honesty really strengthen your relationships and speak life? Or does tact allow you more opportunities to be you, just better?
Authenticity--For those who know me best, they would probably say that I often "march to the beat of a different drum." I have always taken pride in being different from the rest. Standing out from the crowd has given me a deep sense of individuality and I have encouraged others to try it. When does authenticity stop coming with such a high price? Most days it is easier to just go with the flow than stand strong against the tide. As I am tired spiritually, physically, and emotionally, I find it hard to fight to be me. Is it okay to blend into the crowd for a while?
These are just some areas of my life that I am being challenged in. So now you know a little more about me, what are you willing to admit about yourself? I challenge you to take an inventory and see if there are areas God is cultivating new growth in you.
When you do not know where you are at, KEEP GOING - There were several times on our trip that we made wrong turns and did not really know where we were but we just kept going and came out better in the long run. As a leader, you need to understand that not every wrong turn leads you in a wrong direction. The road you are on has to come out somewhere.
This past weekend my Dad and I went on a motorcycle ride through the mountains of Georgia. The scenery was breath taking, the time to clear my mind on the bike was awesome, and the hang time with my Dad was just what I needed. While riding, my Dad made me lead. I am more comfortable following him (I would follow him, where ever, no matter what) and during this process God started speaking to me about leadership. Here are some thoughts I had:
Went on an awesome motorcycle ride with my day Friday and Saturday. We went to Pine Mountain, Rome, Dahlonega, Helen, and then back to Stockbridge.
- What a night. What a night.
- Love to watch Thrive student authentically engage God in worship and chase after the calling.
- Week 3 of the I Dare You series may be my favorite message so far.
- Several students were home sick. We are praying for those guys.
Have you ever wondered how insanity happens? How did you get so overwhelmed and things become so out of control? I have been talking to several friends over the past couple of weeks and the same theme keeps appearing in every conversation. We all have a case of insanity from time to time. When life happens to us, we always do the same things over and over and expect different results. Where is the room for change? improvement? happiness? healthy relationships? freedom?
I have been praying for some divine wisdom to stop the insanity that has become an acceptable form of existing. God has begun showing me the following steps to stepping out of the surviving into thriving. This is not a concrete method, but this is how I am learning to deal with my own insanity.
1. Step back from your situation and admit there is a problem.
2. Don't be ashamed to ask for help. We all have issues we need to accept and work on.
3. Evaluate what decisions or circumstances have led you to this point and take ownership.
4. List what solutions you have tried and focus on new options.
5. Allow God the opportunity to carry you into your next season. You might be where you are because of YOU, but you will get where you are going because of HIM.
Don't lose the fight with your circumstances and don't give in to the lies that you are the only one! Life has ups and downs for all of us, but what we do next is what really counts. Will you make the decision today to stop settling for just merely surviving? Can you imagine actually thriving like God intended you to?
There is something that has been rolling around in my mind the last couple of days. I struggle with trying to make people happy all the time. This is not anything new for me, it is something that I have battled for most of my life. Call it low self-esteem, call it whatever you like, sometimes it becomes a real vice in my life.
We have a tendency to run from adversity. We do not like it when things start getting tough. David had to go through a GIANT challenge to get to the throne that God called him to. God will use those challenges and tough times to mold us and shape us into who He has called us to be.
Failure is not a option when....
I am up way too early on a Saturday morning.
- Week 2 of I Dare You was awesome.
- Yes I did fall through the floor during the intro video.
- Last night was Joseph's first night playing the electric guitar with the worship band and he did an awesome job.
- Grateful for all the parents that came to our parent's meeting and stayed in service with us.
- I believe there were prayers prayed last night that is changing us and will change our schools, families, city, and world.
Have you ever been listening to your favorite song on the radio out in the middle of nowhere and it happens. . . . . the station goes out of range and you feel aggravated and out of options? I have come to realize that life is alot like this scenario. When static creeps into your life, several things happen that cause confusion and doubt, which are not from God.
1. Static causes you to feel as though you have lost your connection. When the song is overcome by static, there is a deep sense of solitude, which leads to fear and alienation. God is not always found in the booming voice, but sometimes he is in the small whisper. He has been reminding me that static will come and go in my life, but it is only a fleeting distraction.
2. Static also leads to intense emotions. For me, it is usually aggravation followed by panic. I often find that music leads my life while I am driving. When static creeps in, I feel like I have nothing to concentrate on or help guide me to my destination. God is reminding me that stability and trust in him transcend all my emotions and fears.
3. Static makes you question your sense of direction and location. When static overtakes my radio station, I immediately begin to check the course I am on and follow up on my sense of direction. God is showing me that he is in total control of my life and regardless of what I see and hear in life, He is my guiding force. I have to pray everyday to completely trust in God and his direction for my life.
I want to challenge you to begin tuning out the static in your life, whatever or whoever that may be, and refocus on your Creator. What do you need to cut out of your life? Who do you need to stop allowing to speak negative into your life?
- If I sow corn I do not expect squash to grow and if I sow tomatoes I not expect beans to sprout up. Same is true in the spiritual world as well.
- A farmer does not plant in the winter or reap in the spring. He understands that there are seasons and times to plant and then a season and a time to harvest. Ecclesiastes 3:1, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven."
- Where I sow matters. If I sow in hard dried out soil I do not expect anything. If I expecting a large return on what I have sown then I need to sow in places that are the most fertile.
- Reaping takes just as much work. We believe that sowing is the work and reaping is the benefit. But a farmer understand that the crop just does not jump off the vine and run into the barn. It takes work. There is a process and if the workers neglect any of the process the harvest is ruined.
Relationships are crucial in our lives. Friendships, spouses, or family, play an important role in our lives whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. Some people seem to navigate those relationships better than others. Others because of past experiences are more reluctant to enter in to those trusting relationships. Time after time on this blog and in my life I expressed that relationships are some of the most important decisions that you can make.
We are down in Columbus for the Fine Art Festival.
Mark Batterson wrote a post about cutting the lines to the life boat.
As we are growing here are some things we are thinking about, chewing on, and trying to work out. Thrive has nearly doubled since October. If we lead like we have always lead then we will get what we have always gotten.
- We are looking at our leadership structure and trying to make sure that we have the right people in the right places, doing the right things. We want to be strategic with our leaders.
- The way we are doing Small Groups right now is okay for right now. What do they look like in the Summer and next Fall. What is the purpose of each group? Small Groups will play a HUGE role in Thrive. This will be the base of our discipleship and great way to help build community.
- Our Van Ministry is growing every week. The only issue is students get on property at 4 p.m. -4:15 p.m. We have to come up with a solution to keep those students from burning the place to the ground. We are looking into some tutoring and maybe some organized sports tournaments.
- Is our discipleship strategy effective? How can we better equip our students with knowledge and practical ways to do ministry.
- We want to raise $7000 this year for Speed-The-Light and send a team to Bogota Colombia. That is about $18,000 towards missions. That is a fundraising beast.
- Is the way we are doing services the most effective way? Do we do service like we do because that is always how we did it?
Last night was the first night of the I Dare You Series.
We have the largest non-event crowd we have had since we have been there.
I love to watch students authentically connect to God.
This series is going to change Thrive as we know it.
We are trying some new orders of service to mix things up a little bit.
Grateful for all the students that raise money for Speed- the-Light in the month of February.
We looked in Mark at the story of a blind man that had his life changed by desperation.
There are some things that we can learn from desperation people:
- Desperate people are not satisfied with their current condition - Satisfaction is the opposite of desperation.
- Desperate people can not be silenced - People who do not care what people think about them are dangerous people.
- Desperate people do not let their issues keep them from God, they bring their issues to God - The issue that we face are not our issues to begin with.
- Desperate people go all in - There is no plan b.
Thrive parent's night is next Wednesday (March 11th). We will be discussing upcoming events, the Summer schedule, the direction of our ministry, and parent involvement. All parents are encouraged to be a part of the meeting and then stay for service.
- When God calls you to the next level He requires you to let go of things at the level you are at first.
- Stress is the fertilizer to creativity. Heard that on 24 last night and I agree with it fully.
- People can not lead where they have not been themselves and leaders have to lead from out front or they are called followers.
- Your dreams have to be bigger that your memories. If they are not then they are just day dreams.
- The things that God has placed on my heart sometimes scare me, but I am convinced if what you are called to do does not scare you then you have not heard from God.
- Stagnation stinks and you can smell it in people's lives sometimes.
- I must first experience the change that I want to give to the world.
- Relationships are the key in life and choice is the greatest power that we possess.
- You are never as bad as your critics say and you are never as good as your fan mail reads.
- God sometimes allows things to break so He can put them back together the way He wants. He takes broken pieces of broken lives and makes something beautiful out of them.
- Selfishness is a disease. A selfish person's world get smaller every day.
- I have to believe in myself before I can expect anyone else to believe in me. I have to trust myself before I can require anyone else to trust me.
- One of my favorite things in life is to see people fulfill their destiny that God has set before them.
- There will always be doubters. It is up to you to prove them right or wrong.
- The older I get the more I see the importance of education. I want to start working on a bachelors degree soon.
- Over the years I have had the opportunity to meet thousands of students that are going to change the world and have changed my life. I am extremely proud of the ones that are pursuing the call of God that is on their lives.
- Forgiveness is one the hardest things to do in my life. I take too many things way too personally.
- You can over think things. Being analytical is never healthy. Trying to see life from all sides is both a blessing and a curse.
- I am my own worst enemy, my worst critic. I am always harder on myself.
- You have to have an outlet. Somewhere to unwind and relax. Something that takes you away from your everyday routine.
- Our life is like a sponge. We soak in everything that is around us from everyone that is around us. The good and the bad. Sometimes we have to be squeezed to clean the crap out of our lives.
I want to wish my husband a Happy Birthday! I don't tell him enough how amazing he is or how much I love and appreciate him--so help me show him some love today . . . .
Happy Birthday Eric---I love you!
Well, as of today I have lived for 31 years. Wow, I can honestly say that it just hit me. I am 31. I know that age is just a number, but for some strange reason I could never fathom me being in my 30's. I do not know what is going to happen when I hit my 40's and 50's. I just wanted to take some time this week and share some thoughts I have accumulated over the last 31 years.
- I need to spend less time worrying about what others think about me and letting others dictate my life. I need to spend more time being who God created me to be and doing what He called me to do.
- The older I get, the fewer people I trust. I have not figured out why I make other people pay for the hurts and pains inflicted on me by other people.
- I am so grateful to God for the family that He has placed me with. He could have placed me anywhere in time with any family and He chose mine.
- People who do not have friends are people who are miserable. God has given me some of the greatest friends in the world.
- There are very few regrets in my life. I learned at an early age about the power of choice and the ability to understand the outcomes.
- If we can change this generation, then we will change the world. I want to work with students for a long time. Being a Youth Pastor is more than a job, it is my life.
- I am tired of being fat. It is easy on your end just to tell me to watch what I eat and exercise. It is not that easy sometimes.
- I want to make a difference in the world. There are days where I feel extremely insignificant and inadequate. There are days where I feel extremely overwhelmed. But there are those rare days where I sit back and enjoy my life.
- Leadership is caught more than taught. I have learned more by watching great leaders than in any book I have ever read.
- It is better to act and not react to situations in life.
- There is never enough time in the day, so you should do what you can, while you can, as long as you can.