Category Archive: attitude

Wrong Assumptions Can Kill You

 

Hey Friends,

If you are like me in any way you have, and continue to make, wrong assumptions. When we lead, minister, or serve with wrong assumptions we can get the wrong results. I spent all day Wednesday with a great leader and consultant, Dan Novak. He has a PhD in leadership and is a great man of God. He added much value to me and Faith Promise. We have used him several times at Faith Promise and he always helps us. I can recommend him without reservation.

Before he spent the day with me he interviewed two focus groups made up of staff members. I didn’t know he was going to do that but it proved invaluable. As Dan unpacked how some of the staff viewed things I was surprised. I was surprised because I thought everyone understood my heart as the leader. Wrong assumption! This is not their fault, but mine.

I know what’s going on in my head but no one else does. After 28 years of marriage you would think I would have learned this lesson by now! Not a smart man. Dan pointed out some things I know to do, but need to improve on.

Things like:

  • Listening WELL! This is a gift and an art and I’m not great at it.
  • Sharing with people how I arrive at decisions. This shows my heart and trains new leaders at the same time.
  • Making sure everyone FEELS heard in a decision.
  • Being present when you’re present.
  • Not forgetting as senior leader my voice counts more than I realize! Being careful of hallway conversations and quickly being negative about an idea or question.
  • The expert can be wrong. I can crush creativity and young leaders by quickly telling them an idea will not work…
  • As a leader gets older he or she (Me) thinks they can quit filtering what they say with kindness. Being older is not a license to be ugly.

We all judge ourselves by our intentions and everyone else judges us by our actions. They can be very different.

Lest you think the day was negative, it was not. We talked strategy, vision, process and many other things. This list above shows areas I need to work on. I asked Dan in to discuss the overall health of Faith Promise. He said of all the organizations he has worked with, we are at the top in health. As the lead shepherd it is my job to make sure the Church and its leadership are healthy.

I asked Dan if the staff could be healthy and the membership not be healthy. He said that was not very possible. We will set a date for next year and see if our great health has improved. The healthier we are the stronger the Body will be.

The thought for the day is: Let people see your heart.

Love you and I pray you know it.

Pastor Chris

 

IF and BUT – 2 Words That Will Kill You

Hey Friends,

I am working on a sermon series for after Easter called, ROAD TRIP. The text will be the children of Israel wandering in the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land. There is so much good stuff in there we could camp there for a lifetime.

Let me give you a thought about why the first generation did not make it to their destiny or destination – they had a wilderness mentality!

I am going to share many reasons during the series, but let me give you a sneak preview. One of their problems was two little words: IF & BUT.  As long as these words are lodged in your mind you will not take responsibility for your actions. Read their stories and you will see they never took responsibility, but continually made excuses. As long as you make excuses you will never excel. As a matter of fact, you will miss the Master much of the time.

Let’s be real. Blaming others and making excuses goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. As you read through the record of Scripture you will see most everyone blamed others and never took responsibility for their circumstances or actions.

In Psalm 51:6 God desires, “Truth in our innermost being.” Truth means facing up to your sins, strongholds and mistakes. We all make them. I John 1:9 says, “If you confess….” You have to agree with God about your stuff.

Satan will continue to keep the keys to your thoughts and mind as long as you blame others for what you do. Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Excuses will chain you. We all say, if, if, if… “This is not my fault!!!” We have all said it.

The spies reported the Land was awesome, BUT…  The but caused a generation to die, wandering in the wilderness. Don’t defend your fears and strongholds, but defend your faith and your victory! Believe what the Scripture says about you. Excuses keep you locked in a prison of your past and strongholds, which gives the enemy the victory.

Word up and take responsibility and go for the gold with God!

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

This is Too Hard!!!

 

Hey Friends,

Have you ever heard someone say something like this: “It is too hard, I’m quitting, why does everything have to be so hard…” I hear this on a daily basis. If you allow this stinking thinking into your mind it will cause you great grief. Remember winning or losing, going on or quitting, is a war that is waged in your mind first. What you are is a result of your thinking. God says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

God will not allow you to be in a situation you cannot handle with His help. Jesus sent us the “Helper.” When the children of Israel left Egypt, God led them the long way. We all like the short way, the easy way, the fastest way. That is not always the plan of the Lord for us. When Jesus went into the wilderness and was tested or tempted by the devil, He never said, “This is too hard.”

Can you imagine the Lord complaining to the disciples that something is too hard? Take this phrase out of your vocabulary. It is stinking thinking and will make the journey harder for you. It will make it easier to quit. That is exactly where the enemy wants you.

I guess somewhere along the way we began thinking like the Israelites that entering our promised land was going to be effortless and without battles. This is not the case. You have to manage your expectations. We are at war and it will not be easy until we get to heaven. Yet in the midst of the mess, we have the power of God to walk us through.

The mindset of the Israelites was making this quick and easy. It was actually an 11-day journey that took them 40 years because of their complaining and lack of faith. Don’t be a Sunday Warrior and a Monday Whiner.

You truly can “do all things through Christ who strengthens us.” Never give up! Keep the faith and keep fighting. He who rose from the dead fights for us, so You are a winner already. Believe what the Word says about you.

Just a thought.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

What Do You Expect?

Hey Friends,

I had a very cool thought while I was praying the other day. I was asking the Lord to let my living room have the atmosphere of heaven. I wanted to smell, see, taste, and watch the worship in heaven. I meditated on that thought for a while and then the Lord seemed to whisper to me that atmosphere was the Leader’s job. This was a new concept and I am always listening for the voice of God.

As the Senior Pastor of Faith Promise it is my job to help the atmosphere of the church to be awesome. We can do this by our attitude. The leaders need an A+ attitude. Our attitude needs to be one of great expectancy. Our faith should ooze out of us. We should set the tone of believing God to move, to do miracles, to change lives, to show up, and a whole host of other things. Preach it, share it, tell it, believe it and the atmosphere will become charged with expectancy.

I have been asked many times, “What is the key to church growth?” Without hesitation I say it is excitement. If the church attenders are not excited they will never bring visitors. If they are excited you can’t make them stop bringing people who need Jesus. Set the atmosphere so high that every service has guests that need Jesus. It turns the worship events into a pediatric ward – happy families just waiting for new births.

Don’t be afraid to speak life, faith, belief, and all you believe God will do. If you have no faith that the Lord is going to do anything, well, are you a leader? I look for Ephesians 3:20 every time we meet.

Winning coaches push their players to reach higher and to believe. You are the coach and you need to push the players to new heights. People rise to the level to expectation. You set the level as the leader.

The atmosphere of heaven is a celestial celebration! As the leader, set the tone of heaven and believe God to show up and make it happen!

Party today!

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

Ever Think About Your Thoughts?

Hey Friends,

Do you ever think about your thoughts? The Scriptures are slammed full of teaching about how you and I think! Most people blame their misery or depression on circumstances or on someone else. The truth be told, the problem is not the circumstances but your thinking about them. Circumstances don’t control your joy or victory, your thoughts do. You are your thoughts!

Let me ask the question again: DO YOU EVER THINK ABOUT YOUR THOUGHTS? It is becoming more important right now, is it not? Your thoughts affect your attitude, mood, your victory and everyone around you. Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things…”

We all think or meditate on different things. The problem is, most are not disciplined on what they think about! This is one of the key reasons most believers are not living in victory! They spend little time in the Word and even less time thinking about the Word. This is called meditation!

Mk. 4:24: “Take care what you listen to. By your standard of measure it will be measured to you; and more will be given to you beside.” What do you listen to???

Ps. 1:2: “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night…”

Josh. 1:8: “This book of the law shall not depart from our mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night…”

The Word is full of admonishments, commands and encouragements to think on the Word! God knows this is the key to your victory. Most of us have unguarded thought lives. This gives Lucifer the Liar open access to defeat us. We win or lose in our thoughts! Think about your thinking.

If you want to walk in victory and live a life that honors the Lord you must win the war in your head and heart. Romans 12:2 reminds us to “renew our minds.” This happens in the Word. Let’s all be Word walkers and warriors. You cannot help what thought enters your mind but you can control what thought stays there. “Think on these things…”

It is impossible to walk in victory if your mind is a mess. Renew it daily and you will rejoice in victory.

Just a thought! A good one!

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

Dump Stinking Thinking

 

Hey Friends,

It is early Tuesday morning and I am in West Palm Beach. I am at the Global 20/20 missions conference with our Missions Pastor, Brad Ervin. It is truly amazing what the Lord is doing all around the world. He is Lord!!!

A verse keeps popping into my mind. Proverbs 23:7 says, “As a man thinks within himself so is he.” This is a foundational and pivotal verse for me because of its power to set us free or to chain us down. Your thinking is the fertile ground for your faith to work. If your thinking is not fertile but is barren of good thoughts, then your faith will not take you very far.

So many refuse to believe good things will happen because so many bad things have happened in the past. If they think or hope for the future they might get hurt again. They think it is better not to expect anything good to happen and then if it does, they will be pleasantly surprised. Sounds like a great protection from getting hurt. The only problem is that as you think, so are you.

Positive people think positively and negative people think negatively. Which are you? BEWARE – Lucifer the liar loves to keep you negative. If he can keep you negative then he can keep you down. Jesus said he was a “liar!” Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”

Today, forget the past and start to think right! Think good thoughts. Start today being positive. Our God has it all together. In Philippians we are told to fix our thinking on good things. In Hebrews we are taught how to fix the fight by fixing our focus on Jesus. I could do this all day. Are your thoughts positive or negative? What do you think and what do you expect? That is probably what you will get. “As you think so are you.” God said it, not me!

Stinking thinking will keep you down worse than almost anything else. Are you ready to have your mind renewed? (Romans 12:1-2)

Today, really focus on these things and see how much better your day will be!

Just a thought…

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

Have You Settled?

Hey Friends,

My heart is a little heavy as I write this blog. I watch people every day miss their potential. I see gifts and talents in them they refuse to see. So many sit on the sidelines because they don’t think they have what it takes to get in the game. It is a lie from Lucifer. Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”

This weekend I am completing a series called GAME OVER. It is a series on the five building blocks we use for core members at Faith Promise: Saved, Baptized, Giving, Growing (in a group), and Serving. This weekend the topic is serving. Pastor Josh did some digging for me. The result is that on any given week at Faith Promise less than 1 in 4 serve in any way in the Body of God, the Church. Wow, it was like a gut punch. I guess ignorance really is bliss.

Why do so many not serve? Why do so many settle for the sidelines? Where is the heart of a champion that should be predominant in the Church of the living God? We are all only as strong as what it takes to stop us. What would stop you from serving and growing into all God placed in you? Where is the desire to press on to all we can be? The Scripture sure calls us to it.

Where are you today in your journey with Jesus? Are you pressing on to maturity, to the high call? Are you in the game making a difference for Jesus? If not why not?

When you got saved you received a new heart, the heart of a champion. All you need right now is in you. God put it there. Don’t sit on the sideline when you can be a champion for His Kingdom. You are a winner and you must, by faith, press forward. What an exciting journey!

Just a thought.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

Are You Full of Joy?

Hey Friends,

Are you full of joy? I mean, right now are you full of the joy of the Lord? Christ followers should be marked by extreme joy. Jesus said in John 16:22 “…No one will take your joy from you.” Do you believe what the Lord said? I do! So, then how are so many Christ followers without real joy? Nobody took it, they gave it away! Since we all believe the Bible we all have to agree if we do not have joy, it is our own faults and we gave it away.

More than 50 times in the Word we are told to rejoice in difficult circumstances. We are not to be controlled by circumstances as the world is. As a matter of fact Nehemiah 8:10 records, “The joy of the Lord is our strength.” If you are feeling weak right now, have you given away your joy? Who do we give it to? Satan, the world, circumstances, or do we just let negative people steal it? They really don’t steal it, we just give it away.

Jesus wants you to walk today with His joy. He has richly supplied all you need. Psalm 16: “In the presence of the Lord there is fullness of joy.” Are you walking in His presence? Are you surrendered and controlled by His Spirit? Release the burdens of this world. He said, “Cast all your cares on me for I care for you.”

Satan will always put a sourpuss in your life to ruin your day, if you allow it! You have the ultimate control over the joy in your life. Let it loose. Let the Word loose. Speak to the joy in your life and let it bubble up into a raging river.

The Apostle Paul said he had, “Learned the secret of being content in whatever circumstances he found himself in.” Can you say that? You can, if the joy of the Lord is your strength and not how good your circumstances are.

I love you and I pray in the name of Jesus that you are so full of joy it leaks on everyone that you come into contact with. Most people really want to be around someone who spills joy on them. Let it be you!

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

P.S.  If you would like to see my interview on The Harvest show yesterday, click here.  Thank you, Lord, for the open door!

 

Change the Channel

Hey Friends,

Let’s be honest, we all get discouraged. Life can throw some serious stuff at us and it is easy to let negativity and defeat take over. At those times in life we all need someone to step in and encourage us, but what do you do when no one is there to help you? How do you get yourself out of the funk and defeat? You have to do it alone!

That is exactly what King David did when he was in this kind of spot! The Scripture says: “He strengthened himself in the Lord.” This is one of his greatest attributes. This is how he was so successful in loving God and leading the nation of Israel in difficult times.

One day he and his men came home from work and it was gone! EVERYTHING WAS GONE. Their families, flocks, herds-everything they owned and loved. They all cried out in anguish and defeat. Then they turned on David and said, “Let’s stone him.” That is what I call a bad day! There was no one there to encourage David; remember his wives and kids were gone as well. Everyone was prepared to take their frustrations and anger out on him. He was the leader. Ever felt like David?

That is when it says, “David strengthened himself in the Lord.” If there is no one else to encourage you then you have to do it yourself, just like David did.

Step one: CHANGE THE CHANNEL. All he hears, feels, and sees is negative, doom and gloom, and no hope for victory. No one saw any hope to make this right or to turn things around. He had to stop listening to them. It is O.K., you can change the channel.

Step two: Remember past victories. Remember when God came through in your life and moved to help you. Trust He will do it again. Rehearse how God had moved in and how much He cares. Block out the negative people around you or they will eventually stone you.

Step three: Take charge. David stood up and said let’s go get our families back, we have won before and we will win again. He did, and they not only got their families back, but they got even more than they had before.

For some of you reading this blog you need to change the channel from defeat to victory. Start by encouraging yourself. Time for the channel of victory. Remember all God has done. Think of His great power. Bask in His Word and in His ability. Quit cursing yourself with negative self-talk and start strengthening yourself in the Lord.

Are you ready to rally to victory? All winners encourage themselves. You are a winner.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

A Trained Eye

Hey Friends,

Do you have a trained eye? I read this cute story in a great book, Every Day a Friday:

A couple moved into a new neighborhood, and one morning while they were eating breakfast the wife looked out the window and saw her neighbor hanging wash on the line to dry. She noticed the wash was dingy and dirty. She said to her husband, “That neighbor lady doesn’t know how to wash. Her clothes aren’t clean. I wonder if she’s using any detergent?” Day after day went by and she would make the same comments: “I can’t believe the neighbor doesn’t know how to wash. I can’t believe they wear those dingy-looking clothes.” A few weeks later the woman looked out the window and the clothes were as clean and bright as could be. She was so surprised. She called her husband in and said, “Look, honey, I can’t believe it. She finally learned how to wash. I wonder what happened?” The husband smiled and said, “Honey, I got up early this morning and cleaned our window.”

It is easy to have a critical eye. It is easy to see everyone’s faults and problems. If you want to help people you need to train your eye to see the good in the people you know. Train yourself to see the strengths and to see people doing good things and celebrate those. There are enough people whose outlook is poisoned by a critical spirit. Don’t be one of those people.

You be the encourager. You be the one who finds the good in people. You be the one who points out the positive and you will be the one people want to be around, and you will help people more than you can ever know. Time to wash the windows of our souls and change our own outlooks. Jesus said, “Don’t try to take the speck out of your brother’s eye and forget the log in your own eye.”

No matter who you meet during your day you can find something positive to say. Let’s try to see people through the eyes of Jesus.

Just a thought.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris