Good is the Enemy of Great

In my family, ministry, and life I have an enemy. My nemesis tries to sneak up close to me and those around me regularly, trying to draw our lives down to insignificance. To accomplish this he doesn’t have to attack, or fight with us, but merely effect our perspective, or keep us self focused and busy.

My enemy is mediocrity. The sad part is mediocrity can be a “good” life. Living the routine uninterrupted life, of going in the same circles, meeting our own needs, providing for our own family, living our version of the “American dream.” Our circle of friends, our vacation time, our activities, our hobbies, our time, our tv shows, our whatever. Is any of this wrong? Absolutely not! Until it takes precedence over our relationship with God and His purpose for our lives.

Sadly it’s a good life but not a great life and much of the time we are happy with good which precludes our attaining greatness.

In order to reach greatness we have to aggressively break the mediocre, convenient, self centered goodness, and transform into, the reaching, loving, caring, others focused, greatness.

When God exposed me to the third world of developing nations it yanked me out of the good life into great life, it opened my eyes to helping people around the world and even people at home. It showed me that true fulfillment in life is reaching for your full potential and purpose in God, and reaching to those whether poor or rich or somewhere in between with love and hope is the key to greatness.

Right now I’m only on my way, I’ve got so much more to do for the kingdom and the purpose of God, but my family and I have decided, we will not settle for good, we will not stop pre-greatness.

Is it challenging-yes
Is it inconvenient-yes
Does it take sacrifice-yes, in every way
Is it worth it-without a doubt!

Kill mediocrity in your life, and overcome good for great.

You could start by joining us for our global reach experience this Friday night at harvestokc campus. Here is the link to get your tickets. You can change lives simply by coming to this event. Decide today that good is no substitute for great!

http://www.harvestokc.com/global-reach/global-reach-experience/

Unequaled Gift story 1

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

encouragement…

Well my marathon training is going well….I have to admit when I first started I was determined to do it, committed that before I turn 40 i will run a marathon, however in the back of my mind, i really didn’t know if I could do it.  Now I know I can.  I feel great and it keeps getting better.  I know this however, the reason I have kept going and will keep going is because of the partnership I have with my friend Andrew.  For example today on our four mile run there were a couple of times i was tired and wanted to stop, (didn’t get enough sleep) he just said, come on you can do it, we are almost there.

Its amazing how powerful those words are, “come on, you can do it!”  I just want to encourage everyone, you can make it, whatever you are trying to accomplish don’t quit, don’t give up, you may be tired, or restless or hurt, just don’t give up, you can make it.  One of the best ways to make it, is to find someone else you can cheer on.  Someone you can partner with to be an encouragement.

Encouragement is a powerful thing…try it, you’ll like it.

David

What it looks like to help someone….

I havent written in so long…I’ve been very busy in a good way.  I love what I do.  The fact that i get the opportunity to work for God and His church every day is incredible to me.  I am still in awe of it.  I love the feeling that I am right where I am supposed to be.  My wife Janae told me the other day how she loved walking into the classroom every day of the school year, and even when its tough she loves it, because its what God created her for.

There is no feeling in the world like knowing your doing what you were created to do.  Wow!  God is so good.

I was thinking the other day, if  you want to know what it looks like to help someone you should have been at our Royal Family Kids Camp.  Every year, for the last three anyway, we have had the priviledge of inviting several foster kids to enjoy a great camp absolutely free.  We had right at 80 campers this year.  This is no ordinary camp, thats for sure.  This camp is made specifically to cause the campers to feel like they are royalty.

All the campers here, are from foster care, so they have either been abused or neglected, so they come with all kinds of needs and issues.  We love them.  We love everything about them.  They are wonderful kids, with positive futures.  We registered them at one of our campuses and then put them on limo buses and took them on a 30 minute ride over to another campus, where all the counselors and volunteers were waiting with signs with their name on it welcoming them to camp.  As they come off the bus, still reeling from the fact that they were riding in a limo, their faces light up, as they see the smiling faces of people who are meeting them for the first time and accepting them, and treating them as if they are princes and princesses.

At the camp, we have two sets of volunteers we call grandma and grandpa, and aunts and uncles, these people love the kids and connect with them by writing encouraging notes to them all through the camp.  (this helps these kids embrace the family construct which they have learned not to trust).

We took them on a trip to the zoo, and the zoological society scholarshipped everyone for the day.  It was a great time and a great blessing.  We had swim times in our Jr.  Olympic size swimming pool, and a full on Carnival in our Gym.

They rode horses, went to chapel services, and had an all around blast.  There is one thing we love to do….we throw them a birthday party, I mean the best one you have ever seen, heard of, or even thought about.  Each camper received a  cake and presents for their b-day. (i don’t have time to explain all the reasons this is so important, but you can imagine).  We had a whole host of Disney type charecters who performed and interacted with the campers, it was incredible!

Then we had a special day for the girls and for the boys.  It culminated in a gala for the girls, where they dressed up in formals, and had a fine dining experience.  They were escorted in on the red carpet in fashion show style, all given a tierra and a friendship bracelet.  They enjoyed this so much, because they had etiquette classes earlier in the day, and were getting to practice what they had learned.  It was truly beautiful, and they brimmed with confidence and joy.

The boys, had what we called, “knights of the king”  bonfire.  It was a great boyhood memory.  They were gathered around the bonfire with painted faces grunting and yelling, and getting excited about being a knight for the king.  “A knight is loyal.”  They would say.  “I knight rights wrongs!”  they would yell.  It ended with the leader standing in front of the bonfire and asking them to accept the challenge to be a knight for the king.  He said, “who will accept this challenge.”  A wonderful thing happened, the boys spontaneously errupted in unified chorus, “I’ll be a knight for the King!”  It was a great moment.

The last thing we did and do every year, is what we call the “tree ceremony.”  We have two healthy trees that are growing now and we just added our third.  These trees are representative of hope.  We have the counselors set down with their campers.  Our ratio is one counselor to two campers, this is what makes the camp effective.  They talk about past bad memories, and they tell them to put them on a piece of paper just between them and God, and we all gather around the hole thats been dug for the planting of the new tree.  We say this week you have had the chance to make some new positive memories, and this an opportunity for you to say I am burying these past negative memories and they will not hold me back.  Then we allow them all to bring their notes and throw them in the hole.  Then we plant the tree atop the old memories, and we send them home with a picture book, of all the fun memories they had at camp.  It may not sound like a big deal to you, but it is to them.  We had one little girl who came to camp for the second time.  Her counselor noticed she did not have a note.  She asked her where her note was, and the little girl responded, I don’t need to do it this year, I buried my negative past last year, I don’t need to do it again.  Thats called forgiveness, thats powerful.

So if you want to see what it looks like to help someone, look at this.  80 campers and over 150 volunteers, and our church and many individuals and busniesses caring enough to treat some unfortunate kids like they’re worthy to be treated.

Its a beautiful thing, you gotta love it.  Foster care is a real issue in our nation, abuse and neglect are serious problems.  I wonder if there is any practical, non political, straightforward strategy to help the dhs, foster parents, group homes, and proactive parenting skills training or anything like that, in either Obama’s or McCains plans for the nation.  I’m going to research it, or you could tell me if you know, something needs to be done.

David