It’s a Beautiful Morning

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I’m here in central America eating breakfast in an open air Resteraunt, enjoying great company and conversation, it’s a great morning. However I’m missing my little girl Sydney.

I take her to school each day. It’s a great time. One day when I was dropping her off I said “Sydney this will be the best day ever, your brilliant, show em how it’s done.” She latched on to that and now she won’t get
out of the car until I say it. We often talk about the fact your day will be what we decide it will be.

So, you could be in a beautiful setting, or not, we decide, we choose the kind of day we will have and the life we will live. Enjoy it, live with purpose. I’ll tell you like I tell Sydney.

Put your name here _____________, this will be the best day ever, you’re brilliant, show em how it’s done.

Have a great one!

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Don’t Let Life Pass You By

I’m in my hotel room after a long day of travel, started out at four This morning in oklahoma city and just starting to wind down here in central America (not saying specifically where, so we don’t give away the location of the adventure trip happening this October). Have you picked your partner yet?

I snapped this shot as we were driving to the town we are staying in tonight. This picture made me think about how many people see life this way.

As if it’s just blowing by and we have no real memories, no real moments where significance happened.

I know parents who feel this way about their kids growing up. Spouses who looked up one day and years had blurred by.

It seems the more distractions we have in our lives the worse it gets.

We are spending time with each other not being together. Letting year after year speed by without stopping to be purposeful and intentional with our lives. My family and I have made up our minds to live life, not watch it go by.

How do we get off this merry go round?

STOP!

1. Stop and think.

We spend far to much time just reacting to whatever comes. We need to think and plan and be intentional. Good, significant memories don’t just happen most of the time. They are created.

2. Stop to listen.

Put down the technology and communicate in person. Some of our children are going to have memories of fun family time and envision us with our head buried in our phone.

3. Stop focusing on what was or what will be and live in the moment.

When we refuse to live in the now our life looks like this picture flying by.

There are so many more things we could stop and do that will help us live life.

One of the reasons we are planning this adventure trip is to get people to do just that. Love life, live the adventure, help others.

More details about the trip coming soon. It will be an adventure. Take a chance and live. If you are interested email us at globalreach@harvestokc.com

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Holy Ground in a Hard Place

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God said, “Don’t come any closer. Remove your sandals from your feet. You’re standing on holy ground.” (Exodus 3:5 MSG)

It’s interesting to me throughout the Bible some of the most significant moments in the men or women of God were some of the hardest times in their lives.

We could list so many, Abraham and his sacrifice, Jacob and Bethel, Moses and his burning bush, David and the run for his life, Joseph and his slavery, and imprisonment. Ultimately Jesus in the Garden of Gathsemene.

This is why it is of the utmost importance not to fear the difficult times. The key is to learn through the difficulties, realizing the hardest of times can produce the holiest of moments.

Look at Moses situation. He had been raised in pharaoh’s palace, had been taught leadership from the best worldly leader at the time.

The day came when he identified with his people and his passion overrode his wisdom and in defense of one of his new found brothers he struck an egyptian and killed him. When he realized the act became public, he ran to the back side of the desert.

He went from posh surroundings to a harsh environment. The whole transition was a vicious smack to his pride. He felt lonely, even though he had a family who loved him. He felt out of place even though he had found a new place to fit. It was in that moment the hardest and harshest of circumstances of his life led to the point he was drawn aside by the bush that was aflame that would not burn. The hard season prepared his heart for that Holy moment.

Note: Moses life was apportioned in three fairly equal parts. Forty years in the palace, forty in the desert, and forty leading the children. You can look at many others and see the same is true of them as well. This reveals to us the true of seasons of life. It’s a natural process and not to be avoided. I believe that each season we live has the purpose of preparing us for the next season. Moses was taught leadership in the first season, his leadership was refined and toughened as he shepherded sheep in the desert of Midian which prepared him to lead the Israelites in the wilderness.

What we learn from the hard season.

1. We learn humility.

Our pride is crushed, and we learn to lead by following and serving.

2. We learn to wait.

Our patience is developed as we trust God to know the best timing for every season in our lives.

3. We learn to learn.

We know we need help so we listen and learn from mentors, circumstances, the season itself.

4. We learn to submit.

We open our heart to the heart of God and give ourselves Holy to it.

The saddest thing I can think of is a person who goes through a hard season and instead of gleaning from it gets stuck in it because they refuse to learn its lessons.

When we allow the hard place to refine us it becomes our Holy ground.

Moses received Gods call, Joseph was elevated from prison to Palace, Jesus died, but rose again.

Embrace your hard place and it will bece your Holy Ground.

Potential

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Inside the tiny acorn lies the potential of the mighty oak!

Potential: a latent ability or excellence that may or may not be developed. In every one of us there is a treasure trove of potential. An untapped resource in a lot of cases. ***Potential is like buried treasure its value is only apparent when discovered and used. Potential must move to a place of actualization in our lives and in order to do that it must be discovered. Once found it must be used or it loses it’s value. So we must first discover it.

(1 Samuel 17:1-14, 16-58 MSG)Saul and the Israelites came together, camped at Oak Valley, and spread out their troops in battle readiness for the Philistines. The Philistines were on one hill, the Israelites on the opposing hill, with the valley between them. A giant nearly ten feet tall stepped out from the Philistine line into the open, Goliath from Gath. He had a bronze helmet on his head and was dressed in armor-126 pounds of it! He wore bronze shin guards and carried a bronze sword. His spear was like a fence rail-the spear tip alone weighed over fifteen pounds. His shield bearer walked ahead of him. Goliath stood there and called out to the Israelite troops, “Why bother using your whole army? Am I not Philistine enough for you? And you’re all committed to Saul, aren’t you? So pick your best fighter and pit him against me. If he gets the upper hand and kills me, the Philistines will all become your slaves. But if I get the upper hand and kill him, you’ll all become our slaves and serve us. I challenge the troops of Israel this day. Give me a man. Let us fight it out together!” When Saul and his troops heard the Philistine’s challenge, they were terrified and lost all hope…Jesse’s three older sons had followed Saul to war. The names of the three sons who had joined up with Saul were Eliab, the firstborn; next, Abinadab; and third, Shammah. David was the youngest son. While his three oldest brothers went to war with Saul, David went back and forth from attending to Saul to tending his father’s sheep in Bethlehem. Each morning and evening for forty days, Goliath took his stand and made his speech. One day, Jesse told David his son, “Take this sack of cracked wheat and these ten loaves of bread and run them down to your brothers in the camp. And take these ten wedges of cheese to the captain of their division. Check in on your brothers to see whether they are getting along all right, and let me know how they’re doing…David was up at the crack of dawn and, having arranged for someone to tend his flock, took the food and was on his way just as Jesse had directed him. He arrived at the camp just as the army was moving into battle formation, shouting the war cry. Israel and the Philistines moved into position, facing each other, battle-ready. David left his bundles of food in the care of a sentry, ran to the troops who were deployed, and greeted his brothers. While they were talking together, the Philistine champion, Goliath of Gath, stepped out from the front lines of the Philistines, and gave his usual challenge. David heard him. The Israelites, to a man, fell back the moment they saw the giant-totally frightened. The talk among the troops was, “Have you ever seen anything like this, this man openly and defiantly challenging Israel? The man who kills the giant will have it made. The king will give him a huge reward, offer his daughter as a bride, and give his entire family a free ride.” David, who was talking to the men standing around him, asked, “What’s in it for the man who kills that Philistine and gets rid of this ugly blot on Israel’s honor? Who does he think he is, anyway, this uncircumcised Philistine, taunting the armies of God-Alive?” They told him what everyone was saying about what the king would do for the man who killed the Philistine. Eliab, his older brother, heard David fraternizing with the men and lost his temper: “What are you doing here! Why aren’t you minding your own business, tending that scrawny flock of sheep? I know what you’re up to. You’ve come down here to see the sights, hoping for a ringside seat at a bloody battle!” “What is it with you?” replied David. “All I did was ask a question.” Ignoring his brother, he turned to someone else, asked the same question, and got the same answer as before. The things David was saying were picked up and reported to Saul. Saul sent for him. “Master,” said David, “don’t give up hope. I’m ready to go and fight this Philistine.” Saul answered David, “You can’t go and fight this Philistine. You’re too young and inexperienced-and he’s been at this fighting business since before you were born.” David said, “I’ve been a shepherd, tending sheep for my father. Whenever a lion or bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I’d go after it, knock it down, and rescue the lamb. If it turned on me, I’d grab it by the throat, wring its neck, and kill it. Lion or bear, it made no difference-I killed it. And I’ll do the same to this Philistine pig who is taunting the troops of God-Alive. God, who delivered me from the teeth of the lion and the claws of the bear, will deliver me from this Philistine.” Saul said, “Go. And God help you!” Then Saul outfitted David as a soldier in armor. He put his bronze helmet on his head and belted his sword on him over the armor. David tried to walk but he could hardly budge. David told Saul, “I can’t even move with all this stuff on me. I’m not used to this.” And he took it all off. Then David took his shepherd’s staff, selected five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the pocket of his shepherd’s pack, and with his sling in his hand approached Goliath. As the Philistine paced back and forth, his shield bearer in front of him, he noticed David. He took one look down on him and sneered-a mere youngster, apple-cheeked and peach-fuzzed. The Philistine ridiculed David. “Am I a dog that you come after me with a stick?” And he cursed him by his gods. “Come on,” said the Philistine. “I’ll make roadkill of you for the buzzards. I’ll turn you into a tasty morsel for the field mice.” David answered, “You come at me with sword and spear and battle-ax. I come at you in the name of God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel’s troops, whom you curse and mock. This very day God is handing you over to me. I’m about to kill you, cut off your head, and serve up your body and the bodies of your Philistine buddies to the crows and coyotes. The whole earth will know that there’s an extraordinary God in Israel. And everyone gathered here will learn that God doesn’t save by means of sword or spear. The battle belongs to God-he’s handing you to us on a platter!” That roused the Philistine, and he started toward David. David took off from the front line, running toward the Philistine. David reached into his pocket for a stone, slung it, and hit the Philistine hard in the forehead, embedding the stone deeply. The Philistine crashed, facedown in the dirt. That’s how David beat the Philistine-with a sling and a stone. He hit him and killed him. No sword for David! Then David ran up to the Philistine and stood over him, pulled the giant’s sword from its sheath, and finished the job by cutting off his head. When the Philistines saw that their great champion was dead, they scattered, running for their lives. The men of Israel and Judah were up on their feet, shouting! They chased the Philistines all the way to the outskirts of Gath and the gates of Ekron. Wounded Philistines were strewn along the Shaaraim road all the way to Gath and Ekron. After chasing the Philistines, the Israelites came back and looted their camp.
***Interesting to note until the point David faced Goliath we have no record or even story of him fighting another man. This account emphatically states he was not a fighting man. To this point in his life he was potentially a great warrior yet that was virtually undiscovered until he faced the giant.

How do we discover our potential and then actualize it?

1. Identify What are we naturally bent towards? When faced with pressure what are the qualities that rise to the top?

Although David had not been a warrior he had the gifts and skill set to be one. When he was faced with pressure you could see glimpses of it. (lion/bear)

Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6 AMP)

To discover potential we must look beyond the surface and see what is in keeping with our individual gift or bent

2. identify What stirs passion in you?What angers or motivates you?

David was moved to action by his passion to stop the attack on God and for security for his family

3. Identify the cause you are to align your life with.

There are apparent gifts in you but some of the greatest potential is yet to be discovered. When you Aline with a great cause they will rise up.

Up to this point all we knew about David is he was the youngest, he was a shepherd, and a musician/songwriter. When he aligned with the purpose of His life the reason for his being he discovered his true potential

4. Identify the gifts God has given you

David could not use Saul’s armor he could only use that to which he was naturally accustomed. What he had proven.

Your potential is discovered when your being yourself not imitating someone else.

Challenges to overcome in order to discover your potential

1. Sometimes the people close to you can’t see it, and will question your motives.

Why are you doing this?Who do you think you are?

***discovering your potential is about pleasing God not gaining the approval of man

2. Sometimes people see your limitations not your potential

You’re too inexperienced This is too big for you

***discovering your potential is to look beyond your limitations. People don’t know what you know about you.

Discover your potential and use it to the fullest to the glory of God.

Bulls Eye

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Achievement in life is much like hitting a target. We have goals and desires of things we would like accomplish. Our efforts are like putting an arrow in a bow, aiming, shooting, and hopefully hitting the target.

To fulfill our true purpose we can’t hit close to the bulls eye, or just a few inches from the bulls eye, we must hit dead center. Hit the mark. Reach the goal. So many people today are taking a strange view at hitting the mark. Being lax about having the energy, initiative, discipline, or drive to hone our skills to hit the mark. In life most of the time, “almost” isn’t good enough.

3 ways to ensure you will MISS the mark.

1. Don’t shoot.

It’s surprising how many people today have just decided rather than work hard and give it their all, they just won’t do anything. Just live life in a mediocre way, taking whatever comes. This sounds easy and restful but we weren’t made to live in a fruitless way. It isn’t easy and will not turn out well. If you don’t participate in life it won’t just go along, it will beat you up. In order to succeed we must at least shoot the arrow. If you don’t shoot you are guaranteed not to hit the target.

2. Don’t train.

In order to hit the target we must practice. We must put in the time, effort and energy to learn how to shoot, then practice shooting until we hit the target over and over again. Until it becomes repetitious. When your developed skill becomes second nature to you, then pressure will bring success not failure.

To many people especially in the information age have a lot of knowledge but not much wisdom or understanding. Being teachable is key to success and significance. You can not learn what you think you already know.

3. Don’t focus.

A lot of leaders are in this category. They know you have to shoot are completely engaged in that process.

They also train themselves by further education, engaging mentors, attending conferences and so much more. They are practicing, honing their skills, working hard and smart.

The problem is they aren’t focused. Instead of aiming at the target, they have many targets and they are trying to aim at all of them at the same time. The result of shooting at several targets at once is the unlikelihood of hitting any of them.

So how do I ensure that I will hit the target, and even the bulls eye?

1. Train.
2. Be willing to shoot
3. Focus.

With your spouse, kids, career, and most importantly your purpose train, shoot, and focus. The confidence, and power that comes with being precise is key to significant living.

Bulls eye!

Everyone Needs a Buddy

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I heard a leader say once that the best gift you could give those following you, is a healthy you.

There’s a lot of truth to that. Many leaders today are caught up in a cycle of busy activity, high stress processes and intense relationships. There has to be some down/fun/refreshing time in your life. God teaches us that it should be once a week. How long has it been since you recharged once a week?

One thing that will help you do that is get a buddy or two. Someone who doesn’t want or need anything from you, who just wants to hang out and have fun and has no ulterior motive.

Like my dog lady, she and my little girl Syd are best of buds. A buddy is a lot like a dog in a sense.

1. They love you for just being you.

2. They just want to have fun.

3. They are great friends because they’re loyal and they don’t put pressure on you.

4. They are stress relievers not stress inducers.

Seriously leaders, it may sound weird but having a good buddy or two will go along way towards your spiritual, emotional, and mental health.

They will inadvertently keep you accountable to refresh and recharge your life.

Stress is not good for you or your organization and if it’s uninterrupted with refreshing it can take you down. Make your mind up you will not be another negative statistic and force yourself to relax. A true friend will help you do that.

Monkey See Monkey Do

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Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God],
the people perish; but he who keeps the law [of God, which includes that of
man]–blessed (happy, fortunate, and enviable) is he. (Proverbs 29:18 AMP)

If we are to lead people from where they are to where they need to be, or just move your organization to the next level vision is paramount.

When people see it, they can embrace it, and apply it.

When Peter walked on the water vision was a big part of that. As long as his eyes were on Jesus he stood atop of his situation the moment he took his eyes off his answer he sank. The things we focus on with our vision draw us to them.

As leaders it’s imperative if we will have people follow us, we must learn to articulate our goals so those following can see it clearly and grab a hold of it.

How?

1. Make it inspirational.

People are moved by passion. Passion births passion.

2. Make it transformational.

Reveal what it will achieve, what it will change.

3. Make it substantial.

For people to embrace it, it must be significant. Substantive not merely symbolic.

4. Make it informational.

It has to be part general part specific. Begin with big picture and funnel down to small picture from general to detailed.

Vision helps us focus, creates momentum, gets everyone on the same page. Use your creativity, and your passion to lay out your vision. People will do what they see.