Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Keep Climbing!

A Better Perspective

We were given the bright idea to visit a particular church on the island of San Andres. After a while of traveling, our team reached the location and looked up. Firmly planted on a hill with a prominent steeple perched on its roof stood an aged building bathed in white paint.  When our host told us that we could climb into the steeple I felt a rush of fear and excitement. But, my expectations were soon to be overawed by my reality.

The steps from the ground to the front door were easy. The walk through the church and up to the balcony was just as simple.  Through a generous sized door and up a mildly daunting staircase we ascended to the top. Halfway there, an open window shocked us. The view was enough to evoke enough of a pause that we questioned continuing.

John 1:3 (NLT)
3 God created everything through him,
    and nothing was created except through him.

Commonly we look at life without questioning its origin. What if we increased the frequency at which we stepped back and allowed ourselves to be amazed at all that God has created. Recognizing the creator helps you appreciate the creation.

If the view at this point was great – how much greater could the view be from the top? Some people are satisfied with their current view without realizing that they have only halfway arrived. If this is good – what would happen if you went higher? If God is good right now – imagine the future possibilities.

We kept climbing, the staircase got steeper, and the passageway more constricted.

Then, we arrived.

Standing in the steeple of First Baptist Church in San Andres, Colombia, the expanse of the island was clearly visible. The lush green trees, the aqua blue waters, and the even smaller islands in the distance painted a breath-taking picture. Having never been to the top of the empire state building or the crown in Lady Liberty, I was amazed at how far I could see.

If you are unimpressed with your view – Go HIGHER!

Romans 12:2 (NLT)
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Luke 19:3-4(NLT)
He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.

Change your perspective! The view is so much better from the top. Jesus is in your area. Get above the crowd, above the gossip, above your feelings, and above any distraction.
I read a story about a man who attached multiple weather balloons to a chair and then had to be brought down from several thousand feet in the air. When he was asked about the experience, he said, “You can’t just sit there.”

Strive for greater heights in your worship, your marriage, your career, and your personal goals.

When God gives you great dreams, he is telling you that He trusts you to get GREAT results.  

Whatever the great dream, vision, plan, or opportunity God gave you is – don’t bury it! Evict fear and mediocrity then Employ faith and motion.

When you look back you will know that it was GOD that brought you this far!

How long will you watch others live your dreams?


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What did you say?!?!

Say What?!?!?!?!?

In the 1980’s there was a popular toy collection called Micro Machines. The selling point was their tiny size and their commercial’s rapid talking announcer. The gentleman’s name was John Moschitta, Jr. and at one time he held a record in the Guiness Book Of World Records for speaking at 586 words per minute. But, the attraction to the toy seemingly faded just as fast as Mr. Moschitta could speak. Recently I traveled to San Andres, Colombia for a mission trip.   

Sitting on the front row I watched in amazement as my pastor addressed the congregation. It was a foreign church and we were on foreign soil. Yet, he spoke with power and clarity - it was as if the platform were as comfortable as a pair of familiar shoes contoured to every curve of his feet. He held the audience in the palm of his hand and he was only doing introductions. Before I knew it, my pastor was introducing me with his hand pointed in my direction. Wait - what?! Me?! I'm here to support and not speak. He beckoned me to take the stage and make a short address to the congregation. Hold on! I'm not prepared - this isn't my moment - I'm wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and toms. I stood and approached the stage. Not wanting to disappoint I grabbed the mic and went in! I was talking fast and trying to give everything I had. 

A voice whispered in my ear - "slow down"

It was a comforting admonishment from my pastor. He trusted me to speak but I needed to reduce my pace. It wasn't a sprint, and a microwave message was not needed. Short does not mean swift…

I settled in like a racecar in top gear.  The advice helped me recognize that power is not in speed but in confidence. 

Zechariah 4:6N (NLT)
Then he said to me, “This is what the Lord says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

Teaching in San Andres to the youth
Although I wanted to make a lasting impression, a quick delivery would have only left temporal results. We must realize as parents, spouses, friends, siblings, leaders, and even employers that our words carry weight and everyone cannot digest your statements at the same pace. If you want what you have to say to last, take your time.

Genesis 1:3-5 (NLT)
3 Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.” And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.

God, the creator of the heavens and the earth, spoke it all into existence. Yet, even He took his time speaking…

I challenge you to seek God first when you speak. Then, throttle your words. Lasting impressions take time to set.