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.

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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.

Don’t let the Sun Go Down on Your Wrath

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I Was in a parking lot today. One car driving down the row another car backing out. Yes you guessed it they collided.

You would think they would get out check to see if each other were ok, be apologetic and exchange insurance.

No! Not these two. They immediately begin to yell at each other. “didn’t you see me driving behind you?”. The other said, “didn’t you see me backing out?”. It was on. I was going to
Try to help but thought better of it. I didn’t have time and they needed a referee not just a passer by.

It seems that people are so easily angered today. I think it’s because we Cary a lot of unresolved frustration and anger.

We go to bed with things unresolved, then they pile up on us until someone presses the right button and boom! We go off like a cannon.

When the bible says not to let the sun go down on our anger God is telling us to deal with our issues. Don’t let even a night go by without getting resolve. Start every day with a clean slate.

Try it. It will take the pressure off and make it a lot easier to live with you.

Thank God for King Louie!

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I’ll never forget one day when my 17 year old daughter was 5 or 6, we were driving down the road going home.

Her mother and I were talking in the front seat and out of the back seat from her little voice came this phrase, “Thank God for King Louie.”

We said what? She said it again, “thank God for King Louie.”

We asked her what she meant. She begin to tell us how grateful she was for Him because the things He had done made it possible for her to play with her African American friends.

She had just gone through a unit on MLKJ at school and had just gone to a sleep over at her friend Adrian’s house. She put those together and realized in our society years ago unfortunately that probably wouldn’t have been possible.

At first we laughed because she confused his name but then I remembered the famous words in the “I have a dream” speech. He said, “I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”

I thought to myself to an extent his dream is being realized. I am so thankful that in my families world we live that dream. Our lives are interwoven with diversity. God is no respecter of persons and is a lover of all mankind. Lord, let that be true of all of us.

Many still hold on to their hate and prejudice and many still feel the effects of it, but thank God for “King Louie” who was willing to stand for justice at the cost of His own life.

Today we celebrate Dr Martin Luther King Jr. for his courage to look injustice in the face and articulate the vision to drive it out of our nation. May we all be the personification of His dream.

Work Out!

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I love to work out. The concept of working out is a good one. The idea that staying healthy requires the exercise of your physical body is interesting. Don’t sit, or give up or be lazy work out get healthy.

The lack of exercise can lead to atrophy, over weight, etc.

I don’t know where the phrase came from but in order to be successful in any area work is necessary. Work the negatives out and work out the process for the positives.

If your unhealthy relationally don’t isolate yourself work It out. If you have an emotional deficit work it out.

If your marriage is struggling, or your finances lacking WORK IT OUT!

Failure, lack, pain doesn’t have to be final, take the time, give the effort, have hope, stand in faith, work it out. Ultimately you’ll see the results.

A Great Attitude is Like Jumping in a Cold Pool in the Hot Summer

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Encountering people with a bad attitude is so common that when you connect with a person that has a good attitude they seem alien.

I just said hello to a lady who must have been in her 70’s she was moving slow, getting out of her car. She was a bit slumped but had a huge smile. I said “hello, how are you?”. She said “Doing great!” I said with weather like this in January how could we be bad?”

Her response made my day, because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard or possibly even said, I hope this doesn’t mean we are
Going to have a horrible late winter.

She responded, “the later in to January we have weather like this I don’t see how we could have a bad winter!”

It was a purposefully thought out positive answer. It made may day and lifted my attitude.

The best part about good attitude? It’s contagious