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.


Mentors, motivation, & Momentum

As a 42 year old leader there are a plethora of principles I’ve learned from great men and women in my life. Things that not only taught me in that moment but for my lifetime by shaping the way I think about things.

As I tell those I mentor and disciple today a teachable attitude is the key to personal growth.

I realize at my age and the years of experience in leadership and ministry I have affords me a lot of knowledge. I do know some things. However wisdom dictates to me the older I get it seems there is still so much to learn. To be truthful in some ways I feel I am just getting started. Some risks I still want to take. Some things I’m ready to accomplish. I want to share with you a few principles I’ve learned from mentors in my life that have shaped my thinking.

I have distant mentors (people’s who’s books I’ve read and podcasts I listen to)

I have acquaintance mentors (leaders I’ve met and observe their organizations)

I have intimate mentors (leaders I know personally and glean from their teachings and personal conversations as well as watching their lives up close)

John Maxwell (dm) I have met him a few times but not to the point we are aquatinted. But his influence on me has been profound.

Principle: leadership is influence not position don’t get it confused. Serving is the key. Humility required.

Stephan Covey: (dm) read his books

Principles: base your life on eternal principles not temporal and plan your priorities not your time.

Andy Stanly: (dm)

Principle: Focus, Focus, focus. You don’t have to or want to do everything, choose your focus and give it everything.

Nick and Christine Caine: (am).

Principles: submission, passion, commitment to the cause empower you to change the world and inspire others to do the same.

Paul Scanlon: (am)

Principle: look at things from a different perspective. Don’t let circumstances or people pressure you to be something your not. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Steve and Charlette Gambille: (am)

Principle: enjoy life while intensely leading, thinking and carrying out big vision.

Kirk and Nancy Pankratz: (im)

Principles: assume the best first,
Be doggedly determined, believe in people. Be willing to put it on the line.

Terry House: (im)

Principles: every Christian is a missionary. Be calculating in the decisions you make and the risks that you take. Be a team player. Love people, make a difference, enjoy friendship and laugh a lot.

Willis Baldridge: (im)

He has passed away but I’m still learning from him. He was the first Pastor I worked for.

Principles: lead your church, pastor the whole community. Give a man enough rope he will hang himself. Care passionately about the word of God and revere the art of preaching.

These are just some of my teachers and some of the principles. Thought they might help you. Hopefully my words and my life are mentoring others.

Still learning.

Revolutionizing Man-Kind

I am right now in the middle of a personal development program for men, called the Total Man Retreat. The theme revolution man-kind. Reintroducing men to what kindness is all about and how it is kindness that attracts people and helps us lead. Many men think kindness is weakness, but in reality kindness is strength.

Most men are known as harsh, mad, angry, and aggressive. These are the terms more readily used to describe a man. Its rare to hear someone say, that is a kind man.

We’ve heard from Dale Martin, Church of the Harvest’s Edmond Campus Pastor, about a good man. We need to see ourselves as good men, and we need to behave ourselves as good men. Relying on the direction of God, and not being afraid to be good, realizing that real men are good men.

We’ve Heard From Rev Spike Our OKC Campus Pastor about the revolution Cycle. How God wants us to surrender not just sacrifice. Sacrifice says i’ll do this for this outcome. Surrender says, I’ll do this because ive given my life to it, regardless of the outcome.

We’ve heard from Pastor Kirk Pankratz Church of the Harvest’s Senior Pastor. He spoke on the revolution of Kindness. What Kindness really is, we should overcome being “mad” men, We should learn what kindness is and understand what kindness does, and to please God your kindness can be simple and easy, it doesn’t have to be world impacting but day to day Kindness will impact the world.

Today, I am going to Speak on How to revolt. We must have a personal revolution, before we can lead one publicly. We must have purposed revolution, because revolution without purpose is mere rebellion. We must have the right motives in our revolution. A revolution must be led not said. We must count the cost for the revolution, and we must pay the price for our revolution.

So what are we revolting against? Personal issues of anger and frustration, so we can lead our families into fulfillment and peace. Against hate, bitterness, anger, and malice, so we can change the world. Against, wrong images of men, wrong identities of what it means to be a man. So we can lead in security that Character is prominent, integrity a major tenant, and Love our greatest motivation.

God wants us to be men, and he wants us to love our wives, love our children and attend to them, and quite frankly He wants us to change the world for the positive.

Simply, “Revolutionize Man-Kind”


Clear the Clutter…


Have you ever moved?  If you’re like me you would rather get poked in the eye with a tire iron, than to pack everything up and move it.  The one thing I’ve noticed about moving is, each time we’ve done it we have more stuff than the last time. 

       Some of this “stuff” is no doubt excellent and has great purpose, but when you look around, you realize, a lot of it is useless junk.  Toys your kids haven’t played with in years.  Things that you bought, and said, “I have to have this!” then hardly used it. 

The question is how does all this accumulation affect us?  One effect is, it clutters our homes.  Have you ever felt like you’re cleaning and picking up constantly?  It feels like the job’s never done. 

Another effect is a lack of space.  Have you ever wanted to put your car in the garage, but there was no room?  The garage is made to keep your car out of the weather, and give you easy access to your home, but if you have needless accumulation the car stays outside and you walk in the winter weather to get to the front door and your stuff is packed neatly and “warmly” I might add, in the garage.

Our lives at times look like this type of house.  They are filled will accumulated trinkets of one kind or another. The thing about clutter is, it doesn’t matter if it’s negative or positive, if there’s not room for it in the house it throws everything out of order.  Hebrews 12:1 says “therefore we also, since we are surrounded with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and sin….”  You know, it’s not always sinful and bad things that complicate our lives, sometimes it can be things that are moral and positive but because there is no room for them in our lives they become a weight.  

       Life’s accumulations are just like the clutter in our house, they create an environment where we are constantly picking up after ourselves but don’t seem to be making any progress.  Just like the garage not being used appropriately, our lives many times get out of order because of all the extra accumulation.  When we should be spending time in prayer, or with our families, or working on our marriage, those things which are true priority, we are running around, trying to be seen with the right people, to have the right stuff, and be involved in the right extra curricula’s, yeah, “walking in the cold to the front door, instead of parking in the safety of the garage with easy access to the house.” 

        Another thing accumulation causes is indecisiveness.  We are worried about finances, and relationships, about acceptance and lack of time.  Our mind is so full, going in so many directions that we can’t decide what needs to be done.  We become double minded. 

I know its winter, but it’s time for a good spring cleaning.  Sweep out the clutter; get rid of things that are not truly priority.  Matthew 6:31 (msg) says What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. 32People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works.”

How do we de-clutter our lives? How do we measure what’s necessary and what’s not?  How do we know when something that is not wrong has become unnecessary accumulation?

       What do we do when our house gets cluttered?  We clean house.  We put things in order. 

Cleaning house takes the renewal of some things and the removal of others.  We have to renew our priorities.  Those things that God says are most important, and then remove the things that steal time and devotion from them.    

       Sometimes we create worry and anxiety in our lives, being frustrated over all the clutter.  We say, “I am so tired of this clutter.” “I am so busy; I don’t have time to clean up.”  The problem with this mind set is nothing changes, as a matter of fact it gets worse and we become more anxious.  Let’s just do what Jesus said, and relax.  Quit fretting and worrying, and clean up.  Matthew 6:33(NKJ) says “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”

       By doing this we are renewing our focus, we are removing distractions.  We are setting our lives in order to fulfill their true purpose, and to achieve true happiness and fulfillment.

       So, gather your family around, get your broom, and start sweeping.  And before you know it, you’ll be parking in the garage again.  Have a great Christ Centered day.



-David Gadberry