Wish You a Merry Christmas!

We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas
And a happy new year!

A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones. (Proverbs 17:22 NKJV)

A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired. (Proverbs 17:22 MSG)

I love this passage of scripture, it’s so true, but could be perceived incorrectly if interpreted from the paradigm of so many people today.

It seems to me, many people today are lead by their emotions and lead by emotion. People tend to live life reactively based on their feelings.

If we interpret this with that thinking then we lose the meaning altogether. Happiness or being Merry doesn’t happen to us, we choose it. We decide to be merry and with that choice comes health.

How do we choose to be cheerful or positive?

1. Decide not to let our emotions rule us.

2. Choose the positive over the negative daily.

3. Choose to laugh. Find reasons to laugh, make reasons to laugh.

4. Enjoy life.

5. Live life based on biblical principles and tell your emotions to line up with the bible, don’t let your emotions push you around.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas

The small pleasures

I often hear people bemoaning their lives. Their jobs are frustrating, families disorganized, life to busy. We’ve all complained at one time or the other. The question is does it help? The answer is not really. Sometimes complaints are legit right? Probably but again is anything changed or positively affected by whining about it? Obviously not. How do I keep from letting frustration and complaint take over my life.

1. Attitude of gratitude- be Thankful

2. Enjoy the small pleasures in life-take time to smell the roses.

3. Prioritize-determine what is important, focus on that and eliminate things that distract from what’s important.

Do all things without complaining and disputing, (Philippians 2:14 NKJV)

Reaching to Serve

I am so proud of how all of our campuses are serving in our communities. We are by far not the only people doing this, it’s exciting to me to see how many churches have awakened to the fact that our role is to do more than preach with our mouths, but help people in need. People with spiritual, physical, relational, financial, and emotional needs.

I have Pastor Friends here in the city and throughout the states and around the world who are truly making a difference and caring for people. Love is active, so we stay busy helping others. Here are some of the things we have done lately.

Our MWC campus just held a banquet for Military men and women. To appreciate them and let them know how much they truly mean to us. MWC houses Tinker air force base, and the area is populated with the military. It was just a way of saying thanks and it really made an impact.

MWC has also been tailgating at choctaw high school Home football games, giving away free burgers and hot dogs and just being available to the students and families. They have also been diligent in building an ongoing relationship with teachers, administration and students by going to the school and helping out.

Edmond Campus, held a benefit dinner not long ago, partnering with a local high school for a young man who had been injured in an accident and had been paralyzed. They raised money to help him pay for medical equipment and medical Care.

Edmond campus men have been visiting the elderly in one of the local nursing homes. They have provided snacks for college students on finals week, and put together goodie bags for a local football team for an away game.

OKC Campus at the start of school handed out free snacks and connected with college students. OKC is going into local public elementary schools, and doing an assembly on the value of reading. In one day we will be in front of several hundred students, and helping promote reading and reinforcing what their teachers are teaching. We will do this on the 18th of this month and again in the spring.

Stillwater blessed 10 families for thanksgiving, fed lunch to all the teachers at the middle school, and some of the administrative staff at OSU, as well as cleaned the Payne County Youth Shelter.

Norman has been tailgating at the OU football games. They have given out thousands of free food items (hot dogs, and breakfast burritos) and connected with lots of people. They have really helped some people while being a part of the fun in the community. They Even ended up on the fox sports show. How fun.

Cordell Campus took on a project to help renovate, clean, and do minor projects on a home for a single mom.

These are just some of the things we are doing. We have individuals in our church, who have outreaches to get blankets for the homeless, others who are getting socks for the homeless, and still others who are regularly feeding the homeless. We have men who are mentoring inner city youth and women who teaching and training young at risk women life skills and parenting.

So many other things are going on and we’re just getting ramped up. One of the things I like the most are the ministries all of our campuses come together for. Like our foster kids ministry. We provide a free camp in the summer for 80-100 foster kids, and we do something we call the “Tree of Hope” Its a way for people on every campus to get involved with giving a christmas to hundreds of kids. We have people take kids wish list off the tree and buy gifts for them, wrap them and bring them back for a big party we do after our Christmas production. This helps our foster kids and our RTG (rescue the girls) families.

The greatest part of all of this is that it’s God’s heart for His church to help those who are need, and as we are helping we can share the love, compassion, grace, and Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love Jesus and all that He stands for, and am privileged to work in His Kingdom. It’s an honor to serve people and it’s life changing for us as well.

By the way on all of the projects we do, we are partnering with local merchants, business people, city officials, and leaders. Partnership is the key.

We can all do something. Please comment and tell me some of the things you are doing with your church or on your own to help people.

Thanks
David

 

 

Something to Say About Leadership…It’s all about perspective

A great lesson I’ve learned over the years is all people see life through certain filters, or lenses. Our lives are truly a vision of the perspectives we have. Many people can’t seem to get ahead in life, because they see themselves as a victim, so they view life from that perspective. Everything that happens, every relationship, every opportunity, every rejection to them is about the fact that everyone is against them, they are doing their best and people are just keeping them down. It’s amazing what a little perspective change can do. Simply shifting the “way” we see things, can have a profound effect on our lives.

I believe there’s a cycle here. The cycle works this way. We have certain perspectives, view points (the point from which we see things). Our perspectives effect our view, which effects our thoughts. Our thoughts effect our actions. Our actions solicit responses, and those responses bring reinforcement to our perspectives.

Let me give you an example. If a person thinks that others don’t like them, then when they go to pubic gatherings, they are usually reserved, shy, disconnected. This action sends out a vibe that says don’t approach me, so people in response stay back, and this reinforces in that persons mind, “see, I knew people didn’t like me, I should have just stayed home.” Is there truth to this, no. There is no evidence that people don’t like them. They are just stuck in the cycle of fear of rejection, because they have a perspective, for whatever reason that they are not liked. Maybe it was a rejection by a parent, maybe it was betrayal by a friend in their youth. Who knows, but their perspective has them trapped.

On the other hand if you have a person who thinks everyone likes them, their actions speak of confidence and openness, the response is people are drawn to them, and it reinforces their thought, “see, I knew it, every one likes me.”

In either of these situations the fact that people do or don’t like them, doesn’t matter, what matters is their perspective. Because they will behave in ways directed by the way they see things, and their behavior will evoke a response, and the response will reinforce their perspective.

You can see how important perspective is. How do you see your life? What are the filters you see through? What perspectives need to change or even be done away with? If we’re going to lead, then we need to make sure our perspectives are not driven by insecurity. We can’t see the world through fear, and expect to be successful leaders.

There are two places this cycle can be broken. One is in a person changing their perspective, another is in people responding in love to a person regardless of their actions, which can break the cycle and give them a new perspective. Both of these are acts of leadership, and both of these take massive amounts of courage and security. We can do it!

What are perspective shifts you’ve had? How did they effect your life?

Next blog, we will talk about the next step towards security.

thanks
David

Something to Say About Leadership…What is Insecurity?

In life we hear the word insecurity often. We use this word to describe people who lack confidence, people who wear their emotions on their sleeves, and people who are enamored with the idea of pleasing other people.

What is insecurity really? The dictionary defines it as an unsafe feeling. A state of mind characterized by self-doubt and vulnerability. So insecurity is a feeling of not being secure. It is a feeling of being a target for hurt or harm, when you get right down to it insecurity in its true meaning is just plane fear, the fear that we are not safe.

We’ve thought of insecurity as an overly emotional state, immaturity, and a lack of confidence. All these things characterize insecurity. They also Characterize fear. Insecurity simply means I’m afraid I’m going to be rejected. It means I’m afraid I’m going to fail. It means I’m afraid I’m going to hurt. It means I’m afraid to risk. It means I just don’t feel safe.

We can all see how this can sabotage a leader. This type of thinking paralyzes a leader. Keeps them from moving forward. Keeps their focus on their performance not the vision. What we need to do however is remove the mystery from the word insecurity and just call it what it is, Fear. Say it after me. “I am afraid.” We all go through this at different times. It’s what we do in those times that matters. Will we see insecurity for what it is and eliminate it, or will we see it as a small weakness and let it stay. It’s fear, and if you are a leader fear is your mortal enemy!

Fear is the enemy of the leader. That’s the way we should look at it. We need to listen and believe the bible. Romans 8:15 says, “we have not been given the spirit of bondage again to fear, but the spirit of adoption whereby we cry abba father. It says in Timothy, “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of love, of power, and of a sound mind. So Fear does the transverse of this passage. It eliminates love, makes us feel weak, and paints us into a corner of confusion. Fear is an enemy to the leader.

We need to understand the power Insecurity and fear can have if we allow it in our lives. What does it cause? If I fear people’s opinions than I can’t lead with a clear vision, If I fear taking a risk, or failing, then I will stick with the status quo. If I fear rejection from people I will be obsessed with my performance and never feel like I’m good enough. It really is a killer of leadership. We must force it out of our lives.

I taught our staff today, on the idea that leading progress requires courage. Its possible to lead and not be moving forward, Moses did it for 40 years in the wilderness. It took courage for Joshua to get it moving forward. God told Joshua in the book of Joshua chapter one, to “be strong and of good courage and not to be afraid” four times. He was getting the point across to Joshua that it was going to take courage to lead to the fulfillment of the dream, to do the right things, to stand against fear itself, and bottom line it takes courage to lead people. It requires us to do the uncomfortable, to confront, and to influence others.

When I was starting out, I wanted everyone to like me. I thought that was leadership. It made me second-guess my communication. I wondered constantly if I was measuring up. It caused me to compete with others in my own mind, and to compare myself with others. I was afraid I would be rejected or I wouldn’t succeed. It wasn’t until I realized leadership is a “stand alone” place much of the time and It takes courage to help people. You can’t help people if you are constantly seeking their approval, because then it’s all about you and not them.

There are ways to defeat this fear. There are perspectives we must have, and perspectives we must change to defeat this enemy. It can be done.

Next blog I will talk about the first way to overcome insecurity, and how our perspectives can create either a vicious cycle of fear, or a victories cycle of confidence.

Hope this is helping you. Please comment on fears you have faced in leadership and how you have overcome them.

-David

Last Night…

Well the trip has come to a close. I can honestly say we have done all that we could to help the people of Cambodia on this short trip. We have laid a good foundation for future work and have further developed relationships with teams. I love my life, getting to share Jesus with people who so desperately need Him, and get to help people who have need.

Ended the night tonight with a debrief meeting with the team. We do this because I want to talk to them about returning to the states and re acclimating to the culture at home and not allowing reverse culture shock to set in.

We allowed everyone to share important moments to them, and to talk about how the trip made them feel and how they felt about the help we provided. As always it was a great meeting and good for perspective. This team was remarkable. They are resilient, flexible, positive, team players, great attitudes, a real joy to lead.

I am sorry that I haven’t been able to get up as many blogs as I would have liked due to poor internet connection and in some cases none at all, there will be more video and written blogs to come when I get home. Here are some things that the team said.

Some said they sensed the real responsibility to carry the vision of bringing justice to the world because of what they have seen. They vowed I will not forget.

Some said they were impressed by the leaders here and that there is hope because of the all out commitment to Christ that they have. They said that one leader told them that all the things we have done are such an encouragement because it makes them know that they are not forgotten and they don’t feel like the are in this all alone.

One said she was just so thankful for being able to come on the trip and sees it as a destiny move for her. God has opened her eyes to the need around her.

Others said, the have a revelation how simple it is to meet need if you just have a mind to do it.

One said it is so powerful how much compassion God has and how he provides for the orphans through Christians and the church. She said I have seen God use teams here and our team to provide the needs of widows and orphans, she sees how God works and what the church is really all about.

One said “I have never seen anything like the things we have encountered on this trip and it opens your eyes to our responsibility to use our blessings wisely and to be grateful for what we have been given.

Others comment were things like, “I have more compassion,” also “I see Hope.”

There was much more and these are just a few paraphrased comments. Truth is the experience is life changing, for us and the people we are helping. I’m glad God lets us be a part of helping others. Its awesome.

David

Pumped…

Tay, Mad, and Syd (10)I am so excited about all the great things happening with harvest. We are leaving for Cambodia in just over five days. This trip is going to be awesome! Be watching the blog for all the updates. Some will be written, others video, its going to be a fascinating and life changing trip. If for no other reason then i get the privilege of taking my oldest daughter, Taylor with me. She is 15 and a passionate Christian. Locally she is involved in our Creative team at harvest, she plays the acoustic and is starting to lead worship in some settings. She is very committed to the cause of Christ and has a real evangelistic spirit in her school. She has known for years that she is called to be a world changer. I have done my best to inspire her about life, but leave the destiny and purpose things between her and God, and She believes she is called to live her life in ministry.

So I am proud that another generation of Gadberry’s are stepping up to the plate to make a difference in the world. She will be the fourth generation ministry leader.

Let me move on before i get carried away and ahead of myself. It is such a thrill to take her and to be able to partner together to help people. If I haven’t learned anything else as a parent I have learned its always better to model what you want for your kids than it is to merely talk about it.

So what better way to teach Taylor how to help people, how to reach the world with the love and Gospel of Jesus than to take her, and let her do it with me.

I have also learned that these times provide for some of the greatest bonding experiences in a parent/child relationship. I love it that I am not struggling, or fighting with her about teenage issues, but rather partnering with her to change the world.

I love it that my kids love God, love the church, and love the ministry.

Its gonna be fun! Here we go!

David

We can do something…

In the last blog I gave some thoughts and statistics that are really staggering, heartbreaking, and shocking.  Several people responded and most said what most say.  They were outraged, irritated, and frustrated, then went on to say, someone has to do something.  What can we do?

A few years ago, when I became aware of the sex trade, and the unyielding problems that come with hiv/aids internationally the effects of war, and poverty, and the lack in underdeveloped nations, it profoundly effected me.  I always knew about these problems, but you can know, and not really “know.”  I knew mentally, but had never seen it for myself, and I have to say its way to easy for us as Americans to bury our head in the sand and just deny what goes on around the world, and even in the impoverished areas of our own nation.  People think if they just ignore it, it doesn’t exist, but when i took my first trip to Cambodia there was no denying the travesty that exists, and no ignoring the roaring voice in my mind that yelled, “DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS!”

My mind realed, i was thinking about all the problems.  starvation, poverty, disease, war, children being orphaned, the sex trade, and so much more, and for a moment i just became overwhelmed.  I was thinking, this is horrible but what can I do?  I mean, really what can I do?  Then I adopted a new thought.  “I can’t do everything, but  I can do something, but what I will never do, is nothing!”

So we have been doing something.  You can read in previous blogs some of the things we are doing, and in future blogs what we are going to do, but I want to give you some thoughts, on how to do something.

Whether local, regional, national, or global you can do something.

1.  make up your mind you will do something. Something, meaning anything that you have the power to do.  Many people do nothing because they think if they can’t do something huge it wont make a difference.  The truth is most of what is making a difference in the world today are things that started by someone saying, i will do what i can, and just grew from there.

2.  Wake yourself up, and those around you up to the need, and take responsibility for it. If everyone is thinking someone else will do it, then no one will.  It takes all of us doing what we can, when we can, where we can, to effect a change.

3.  Brainstorm what you can do. Don’t think that the answer to everything is merely money.  We have lots of resources that are based on talents, and time, and not just treasure.  Yes it takes money but you can do things that make a difference that don’t cost a lot.  Its at least a place to start, and remember our resources go a lot further in the third world than they do here.

4.  Become a partner. Nothing significant will ever be done on any level without partners.  We need each other.  Others need you and you need them.  We all bring something different and good to the table, and working together gets more done than trying everything on our own.  We are developing partners all over the world.

5.  Make people aware. I used to think awareness efforts were a waste of time.  I would say, people need to quit talking and start doing something about it.  Then I realized that with our ability to ignore things awareness is very important.  To do what we do we need financial partners and we have learned that people are motivated by getting a revelation of what is really happening, rather then us just saying we need help.  People need to know that little girls and boys are being sold and bought for sexual perversion.  People need to know that people have no medical care, or no education, or no hope because of corruption or poverty.    When we make people aware it incites a riot on the inside of them, it turns their world upside down and demands action.

6.  Don’t get frustrated when people aren’t as motivated as you about these needs. It takes time and your frustration will only negatively effect you and put an edge on you that will repel people not attract them to help you.

So those are some things I think about.  Just remember you can do something.  So do it.

David

Press

I love Paul’s words in Philippians 4:13, I press toward the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus. He said I forget the past. I look forward to the future. I press.

To succeed in life we must learn to press. I can’t stand mediocrity. I dislike it very much when people do things half way. Especially Christians, I think we as Christians need to leave the world a strong message.

Paul Said, I forget the past. We must learn to walk in Gods grace, and quit pilfering through the past. Whether good or bad, our past can paralyze us because its easy to get stuck there.

Paul said, I look forward to the prize of the high calling. Two words that denote great value. Prize, and High Calling. We should see the things of God, the dreams, and goals, and passions He places in us should be seen as a prize as a high thing. Something of great value.

He said I look forward. People who are mediocre or do things half way are people who are wallowing in the past or can only see what is right in front of them.

Remember to reach the prominence of purpose, you must press. You can’t go at it half way. It must be apprehended. It must be pursued, it must look in the face of obstacles and pressed through.

Sometimes when we are in the middle of change, or involved in lots of areas of ministry, we just look at each other and go wow, we have a lot to do, isn’t it awesome! Then we just press until its done, and done well.

value the press, and press for the value.

David

harvest summer so far…

WOW! we are having a great summer so far. The ministry and outreach that has happened sense June at harvest is incredible. I am so thankful that God has challenged us to reach out, and count it an honor to serve God in this way. GFC, impacted many ladies lives from around the region, our Rwanda trip, became more than we ever hoped, Royal family Kids camp was phenomenal and Kids camp was off the charts. We have now completed our first week of Youth America Camp.

As I stood by the stage last night and watched as our young adult staffers prayed for the young people. I felt such pride, such passion, excited that we have a church that promotes, embraces, and empowers the next generation. Janae and I stood in that room watching as our young adults rose to the occasion in their worship, and passion for God, and for the church. We have so much to be thankful for, but the one thing today, I am thankful for is that my girls are growing up in a culture that lets young people see, there is room in the church for them, and the future of the church is in their hands.

The recording was powerful. We truly captured a night with God! Its been a great summer.

I love summers at harvest. Stay tuned, two more weeks of Camp and then we leave for Cambodia. Can’t wait.

David