Excellence…

Excellence simply means to excel. To be distinguished. To stand out above the rest. I was recently looking at the life of Daniel, the Prophet the bible literally says he had an excellent spirit.

His peers and his leaders saw this in him. Excellence is visible. The single greatest way to move forward in any area of your life is to embrace excellence, in our thinking, living, and being.

Excellence is the antithesis of mediocrity. Yet everywhere we look we see mediocrity. We see things half way done, we see short cuts taken, we see people wanting excellent results with mediocre effort.

If I asked the question who would love to have a life of excellence, success in your family, relationships, job/career, even personally, hands go up everywhere. Everyone wants that. If I asked Who wants their life to amount to nothing. You want to accomplish nothing, get along with no one, succeed in no way. No one would raise their hand. No one truly wants their life to be mediocre.

The problem is not a desire for excellence but a desire to fulfill the requirements of excellence. We can’t have excellence from mediocre effort. It doesn’t work that way. Daniel lived several principles that I think show his excellence and in living these ourselves we will find excellence as a result. Excellence will open doors that nothing else can.

1. Daniel cared about doing things right and He cared about doing the right things.
If you read the story of his life you will find that he did his best with what he had, and he had the right priorities. Two of the greatest enemy’s of excellence are an “its good enough” attitude, and having our priorities out of whack. Getting caught up doing unimportant things, while those things which are important are left undone.
My dad taught me a very important lesson when I was growing up. He said, if you want privileges you must fulfill responsibility. Another way to say it is do what you should do before you do what you want to do. This principle will bring true excellence into your life.

2. Daniel lived with a higher purpose which is how excellence is produced.
Colossians 3:23 says, “whatever you do, do it heartily, as unto the Lord, and not unto man.”
In other words do all we do with 100% effort as if we were working for God himself. Our lives will be excellent if we live them with a higher purpose. As unto God.

3. He faced the worst with His best.
Daniel didn’t allow his circumstances to dictate his decisions or actions. We miss excellence when we react to hard, difficult or unfair situations with anything less than a spirit of excellence. Daniel was faced with betrayal false accusation, Peer Jealousy and persecution, but he never became spiteful, he never lowered himself to allow people or things to dictate his actions are decision making. He made decisions and acted on the foundation of his faith. He was living for God and not man.

I highly recommend you take a look at the life of Daniel, and recommend that you practice these principles he was so adept at. Care about doing things right, and doing the right things. Live with a a higher purpose. Face the worst with your best.

Lets live a life of excellence and see how it changes not only our lives, but the lives of those around us.

God bless.

Advertisements

Its a dark and rainy day….

I love days like this, I don’t know why but they slow me down. They cause me to think. To reflect and to meditate on things to come. I am thinking of the true possibilities of our Global Reach for Justice in Rwanda. We are leaving on June the 8th. I was meeting with the team just days ago, and we ask the question, “why do you think you are supposed to go on this trip?” There were many different answers. Some said, “I want to help the children,” while others said, “I’m not sure what I can do but I want to help change things for the people of Rwanda.” They all truly gave good answers.

I think we all should take time to ask that question about our lives in General, as to why we do what we do. Why are you involved in this or that? Where are you serving and why? It should bring perspective and clarity.

I asked myself, why are you going to Rwanda this year? My response is simple. To produce potential in people. I see this as one of the main reasons for my life. I have a vision for the potential in people and I feel my assigment in life is to help people realize that potential.

I know when we look at places like Rwanda, we see all the bad things that have happened. After having been there and built so many great relationships, especially with young Men and women who want to lead their country to health, I see a lot of promise and unending wells of potential.

My purpose in going this year, is not to just give a fish, but to teach them how to fish. I have kept relationships going through the web as much as possible, and we are planning a major connection with young leaders when we go. I believe that interaction and teaching, and relationship time is going to make a real difference in the lives of these young Rwandans, and in the life of the future of their country. We are going to help them in humanitarian ways, and in leadership.

How do you change the world, by seeing the potential of change, and producing it.

That’s why I am going to Rwanda. Why do you do what you do? Please share.

Next Generation….

OK, I’ve had it…Sound mad don’t I? Not really, I just hear so much talk about how bad the Next generation is coming up. It May be true for some, but I know a lot of young people who are productive, who care about life, who care about the important things. It will not be some political plan, some technology, some process or ideology that ushers in the next great thing, or the next great leadership movement. It will be the leaders of this next generation. The young people so many love to hate today.

I know that all we hear about is the negative on everything, partially because the media stokes that fire, and partially because we buy the smoke. However There are some great young leaders coming up. Oh there not in Hollywood, they are not even visible to you and I, but they are there and they have some thoughts.

My Daughter is one of those. Guess what, My daughter is not in to drugs, My daughter is not caught up in things that are illegal or self destructive. Now hold on before you judge me for being prideful, which, alright I’m a little guilty of, She isn’t perfect, and she tries my patience on a consistent basis, just by being a teenager, I try hers as well.

Taylor turned 15 today, she is, and I can’t say this without partiality, one of the best kids I know. She really wants to change the world. She cares about people, she cares about her relationship with Jesus and allowing Him to use her life, and their are tons like her. Volunteering, using their gifts and talents, and time to help others.

I think our future looks bright! I love it that my daughter wants to change the world. That can sound kind of idealistic to us over 40 crowd. I must still be idealistic too then cause I’m trying to change the world as well. So Taylor is going with me to Cambodia this year, and we will do our best to help others together, and by the way, that’s how you change the world. So all you young people out there, we believe in you, we see potential in you, and we are depending on your leadership and enthusiasm in the future to help change the world.

I have people ask me all the time how did you get your daughter to think like that, to be like that. I use to say, just the grace of God, but the truth is a little more specific than that.

1. I spend time involved in her life, and listening, cultivating and supporting her dreams and talents.

2. I surround her with dreamers. I have lots of friends who are big thinkers, and world shakers and I get her around them and let her listen and naturally they speak into her life.

3. She is planted in a great church and has great Pastors and pastoral figures speaking into her life, and helping to encourage and support her.

4. We Talk, talk, talk about everything.

5. I have listened to parents who have gone before me, and employed their advice.

6. She has the most incredible down to earth yet faith filled mother on the planet.

7. She surrounds herself with friends who are full on committed to Christ and she creates friendships with kids who she is reaching out to for Christ.

I can hear someone saying right now, well she’s still young and she could mess up. Yep, and probably will, Thank God for His Grace and the knowledge that His dreams for her do not hinge on my imperfections, her mothers, her leaders or hers, but rather on His perfection.

So Thank God for Taylor and her generation….Can’t wait to see how the world changes.

David

A revolution of Service

I have been so proud of our team over the last two days.  Yesterday we were finishing up our seven days of Servolution.  Our project was to help with the CARE program at the MWC police department.  Our team started gathering early and preparing to go in and help.  Something happen that changed everything.  A fire started in MWC and spread over a significant area of MWC and Choctaw.  We know now that 49 people were injured, and 50 houses were a total loss with others being badly damaged and still others with smoke damage.

The police told us with everyone being called in, there would be no way we could do the project we had planned, they suggested we go over the the community center and see if there was something we could do there.  At the same time, the leader of this project and one of our other guys in the church called and said why don’t we turn our servolution project into helping the evacuees, of which there were hundreds.  So I stopped and picked up a lot of supplies told our team who were already in their “serve team” shirts to head to the community center and start setting up supplies.  We called on other serve teams to join us, and just set up and started helping people.

Giving out water, and food, and toys for the kids.  We started thinking, “who could we partner with?”  So we called starbucks and they supplied coffee and Hot chocolate.  Krispy Kreme provided donuts.  There were pets so a vet brought dog and cat food and treats.  People just started showing up and giving us hot food, to pass out, people in the community started coming in and saying where can I serve.

We worked with the Red Cross, what Great People they are and an incredible organization.  There were also folks there from the Southern Baptist Disaster relief organization, incredible servants everyone.   I must say that the MWC community leaders, the city council, the police, and firemen, The officials, and the leaders of the community center, Were so sharp.  This city and its leaders have their act together.  The sherriffs, the city manager, so many people and organizations working together to help others.  We were so blessed just to be part.

There were so many churches sheltering people and helping people, our friends the Burchetts at Eastpointe brought their people together today and really helped the people who have so much damage and loss and the public servants working so hard as well.

So there are some things I learned.

1.  Don’t set back and call leaders in the fray and ask them what you can do to help, they don’t have time to figure it out for you and at the moment don’t know what to tell you.  Just get into the fray with them, and start serving.  This is the best thing you can do.  The church is not an outsider in the community it is a part of the community.

2.  Partner, Partner, Partner….You have connections others don’t have and they have connections you don’t have.

3.  Realize that people want to help.

4.  Wear matching shirts so you can be easily identified and people can come to you for help.

5.   Help the kids, if they can be connected with it gives their parents a chance to think, and rest a minute.

6.  Be open to jump in and do what you can without hesitation, be willing to say yes, when needed.

7.  Your team will give over and above, and people will always rise to the occasion.

8.  Always be thinking about the next step.

9.  Serve the servants.  First responders put it all on the line, and have no time to stop and take care of themselves, so serve them as well as the victims of the disaster.

This was really a great way to solidify a servolution culture in our team.

I invite you to join the party and embrace what our friend Dino Rizzo Cause a “Servolution!”

Servolution Day 5…Acting like Jesus

Yesterday Morning, it was freezing! Very little wind, but a great time to serve the college students of our community. We took 8-10 volunteers and a ton of food. Pop Tarts, granola bars, G2, bottled water, Starbucks coffee, and we set up two stations so when students were on their way to class they could pick up a quick breakfast free.

It was so fun to do this. We had a lot of great interactions. It is such a blessing to watch the response of people when you just serve them with no catch. When you want no donations, your not making some kind of presentation, you’re not trying to get them into something, you are just serving them and giving them stuff for free, it blows them away.

Wasn’t long before word got a around and students, teachers, were coming from all over the campus to get some food and beverages. I heard them talking, and everyone was thanking us and asking us why we were doing this. Some people in the administration want us to come back.

The same thing happened today, when we created hospitality for families waiting in the surgical waiting room at the local hospital. So many times when you see people who are stressed and anxious you want to help, but you don’t know what to say, or do. The one thing we could do was serve them. I talked to the chaplain of the hospital, and he said that when we serve them and give food to them, it gives them a moments peace, and gives them a feeling of hope.

Last two days have been great.

When we serve people, when we care enough to do something for them just to be a blessing in their lives, then we are acting like Jesus.

We have had many partners in these projects and are looking for more. We know that if we can get together with others we can truly make a difference in our world!

Servolution….Day 4

This morning about 9 am a group of volunteers from our MWC campus went down to the local DHS office, where there are about 110 employees.  DHS employess have a very high stress job, they are looked at negatively by so many.  There job is hard most of the time.  Its very easy to get burned out, and the turn over rate is very high.  We know that one of the reasons for burn out, is the feeling that we are not appreciated.  We thought, “how can we serve them.”  We decided we just wanted them to know how much we appreciate them.  So we took food and drinks and filled their break room with all kinds of things for them.  Then we made each of them a goodie bag for themselves, it had home made desserts in each with a thank you card that told them how much we appreciated what they did for the community.

They were so grateful for what we did, one lady responded by going back to her office and writing us a thank you note, here is what it said…

“Dear Thoughtful Ones,

Before I dive into these delicious treats that you have provided us, I wanted to thank all of you for being so thoughtful.  I have worked this job for over 18 years and this is the first I’ve seen a church come in and show us such love and appreciation.  Thanks for all you do in the service of the Lord.  Your kindness has not gone unrecognized.”

So many great people serve our cities, our states, and our nation in roles of service with very little appreciation.  We need to let them know how much we appreciate what they do for all of us.

I spoke to a leader in our DHS the other day, and she said she felt like what she was doing was a calling.  She said most of the people who work in this field, at least the people who last in this field fill that way.  Lets help them stay encouraged and keep up the good work they do.

David

Day 2 and 3 Servolution….Personal Impact

Saturday and Sunday on harvest MWC Campus our projects were an absolutely no cost car wash, and an outreach to “Manor Care” a local nursing home facility.

we have had a good number of volunteers in all our projects. The car wash was Fun and interesting. People would pull in we would give them a couple of gifts, a bottle of water, and a car wax product and applicators, then we would wash their car. It was amazing to me, how many people wanted to give us money, and when we said no, it was as if they couldn’t grasp what we were doing. They really were having a hard time understanding this totally free, no agenda car wash. Once they got it they were really appreciative, wanted to know where we were from, and why we were doing this.

It shocked me at the response, and to be honest made me a little sad. I was sad because it is so foreign for someone to do something kind like this just to be kind, and not have an agenda or want something in return. It has really challenged all of us, to live our lives serving others, every day. Coming out of this, it will no longer be an event but a lifestyle.

We washed one lady’s car who lived in the neighborhood close to the wash, and her family were obviously impoverished, didn’t have a lot, but a few minutes after we had washed her car, her little son came walking up from their house, his hands full of change. He said “we wanted you to have this” If we had been raising money they had no clue what it was for, but were so moved by our generosity they were ready to give. Our youth pastor told the little guy, you take that money back to your mom, and tell her we just wanted to bless you guys.

I pray that the church becomes known in the community, not as the neediest, but as the most generous. Let the world know that Jesus Loves them, and his people stand ready to show it.

On Sunday we had great services and that afternoon we went to the nursing home. We took adults, teens, and children with us, and we sang songs, we gave out gifts and we just sat down and talked with these wonderful, beautiful elderly people. Honestly our hugs and hand shakes were the best thing we could have done. My girls, Sydney and Taylor set down and talked to a lady named Pauline. She was so sweet, obviously her memory was affected and she had a hard time putting thoughts together, so we just begin to tell her about ourselves, and she loved it, she loved my girls hugging her, and holding my hand. It was interesting watching my girls in this setting, they have so much love to give and i am glad to be teaching them that this is what Christians do, they show the love of Jesus in a practical way. My oldest has decided that after church on Sunday we should make it a regular journey to see Pauline, and my youngest just cried, visably moved at the loneliness of an elderly person in her situation.

Love goes farther than we can imagine, its a touch of sincerity, a hug that says, I don’t even know you, but I care, a heart that is overflowing with compassion, not even knowing what to do but to say, I love you.

What we are finding is serving people can be inconvenient, and serving people can be awkward, but serving people is the mandate on our lives and the expression of our faith, and the love of our Savior.

Our culture, our people, our families, and our lives are changing, I feel forever. We have always done things for the community on some level, we have branched out in the last few years locally and globally, but I feel we are moving to a whole new level of love, and compassion for people. A revolution means a complete turn. This has been a complete turn of serving. A Revolution of Service.

More to come….honoring and appreciating our Dept of human services employees today. They’ve already begin to thank us, and we haven’t even done it yet. Just the thought moved them.

Remember its not about what we are doing, its not about, how good we are, cause we all know better, its about one thing. Expressing the Love of Jesus to people in all walks of life. Thank you Jesus, it’s all about you.

David