Chazown!

I’m currently reading a book by Craig Groeschel entitled Chazown (pronounced khaw-ZONE) from Hebrew, meaning a dream, revelation or vision. It’s an interesting and inspiring read. As leaders, we need to constantly cultivate the vision that God has given to us. If you don’t have a vision, ask God for one.
Prov. 29:18  (KJV) Where there is no vision, the people perish:
Prov. 29:18  (NIV) Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint;
When you have a vision [for anything], you are willing to put boundaries in your life in order to achieve it. Great athletes train hard and discipline their eating habits to win. Achieving students study hard and remove any distraction to be on top. Successful entrepreneurs study their company and competition to get ahead of the game.
Abraham left his country because of a vision. Moses forsook the riches of Egypt because of vision. Joseph was put in prison because of vision. Daniel ended up in a lion’s den because of a vision. Jesus was crucified on a cross because of a vision. They all sacrificed but they all achieved what they were called to do.
But with no vision, one is like a wanderer. It doesn’t matter where he is because he does not know where he is going anyway.
When God gives us a vision, it normally comes with four things:
1.  Focus
When you know what you are called to do, you can easily say no to the things that you are not called to do. If you don’t plan for your life, somebody else will. Focus is knowing when to say ‘No’. It is having the discernment to pick the better and great opportunities over the good ones.
2.  Endurance
With vision, come challenges. Accept this fact from the start and stop whining! Success is sweeter when you overcome the odds.
3.  Peace
I define peace as quiet confidence in the midst of the storm. In the eye of the storm is the greatest tranquility and calmness. Peace is knowing where you need to go and having the directions to get there. It’s like having a spiritual GPS. God is guiding you every step of the way and this gives you confidence.

4.  Passion
Show me a person with no passion or motivation and I’ll show you a person with no vision. Great people are filled with great vision. What drives you? A God-given vision will move you forward.
When you receive a vision from God, you’ll never look at life the same again.

Source: Faith

Lesson I Learned From Hannah Montana

Before anything else, I would like to make a disclaimer. I am not a Hannah Montana fan but my 2 little girls are.  So when they told me that they wanted to watch the Hannah Montana Movie last Monday, I easily gave in to their request.
In the movie, Hanna learned a valuable lesson.
“Life is a climb but the view is great.”
This statement stuck to me until the end of the movie. It speaks of the reality that there will be struggles in life but we should not despair because they all will pass. Jesus told his disciples, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” He has given us an overcoming spirit for everyone born of God overcomes the world. We may be going through some problems in our relationships, finances, health, career and many others. We just need to hold on and never give up.
When God told Joshua that he is giving them the promise land, he did not say that it would be a walk in the park. In fact when the spies went to do an ocular inspection, they saw that it was flowing with milk and honey but there are giants in the land.  Many times, when we receive a promise from the Lord, problems come before the provision. It doesn’t mean that it is not God’s will. It simply means that we are called to overcome something. But in the end, the struggle is worth it.
So, when you feel like you are going uphill, just hang on because when you get to the top, you’ll eventually enjoy the view!

Source: Faith

Not Now I’m Busy

Have you ever felt like running out of gas in your walk with God? You’re doing a lot for Him and yet you feel so distant. It’s like riding a stationary bike – you are busy spinning and sweating but you are not going anywhere.
When a religious leader asked Jesus what the greatest commandment is, Jesus answered “Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. And he followed up and said the second is like it, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” (Luke 10:27)
Jesus used the story of the Good Samaritan to illustrate how to love our neighbor (Luke 10:30-37). Then he used the story of the two sisters Mary and Martha to illustrate how we should love God.
Luke 10:41  “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about MANY THINGS,
Luke 10:42 but only ONE THING is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
An insight that comes to mind when I read these verses was the difference between many things and one thing. When we find ourselves doing many things to please God, it is really born out of duty. But we need to just find the one thing to get to Him. That is born out of our pure devotion to Him.
Martha wanted Jesus to tell Mary to help her.  But He said that Mary has chosen what is better. God is not pushing us to do many things. He is calling us to do just one thing and that is to enjoy him.
Remember, ministry is just an overflow of our relationship with God. Not the other way around.
Matt. 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and ALL THESE THINGS will be given to you as well.
When we seek the ONE THING, then ALL THESE THINGS will follow.

Source: Faith

Don’t Wait to Say It Til They’re Dead. . . (4 Funerals and a Wedding)

This past week I have seen 4 funerals of people that I know. Two of them are family members of church members and the other 2 are celebrities – Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson.
One thing I notice about funerals is that friends and relatives would  honor their dead through eulogy which is a tribute to the person who passed away.
I was deeply touched by the stories and testimonies that friends and family shared about the deceased. Those were wonderful words of appreciation.
Eccl. 7:1 A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth.

Solomon said that death is better than birth because death is the summation of a person’s life. What will people say about us when we are finally lying down in our casket?  What would you like them to say about you? The words spoken are dependent on how you live your life NOW and how you will nurture the relationships that you have.
While I agree that words of honor should be said about a person when he is dead to summarize his life’s accomplishments and celebrate the relationships that he made. We need to take the time to honor our loved ones while they are still alive.  Let them hear how much we love and appreciate them.
Do not wait until they are dead before you say those beautiful speeches.
Say it while they can hear it.
In contrast, a wedding is an ocassion where the couple openly say what they feel for each other.
I like going to  weddings. It’s a celebration of a couple’s love for each other.
Tonight, I am officiating a renewal of vows ceremony for a couple in church. They have been married for 25 years.  They will be expressing their commitment to one another. And they will do it publicly before friends and family. They will say how much they love and appreciate each other and will make a promise that they will be faithful to the other until the very end.
Of course, words of affirmation should not just be said during the wedding ceremony but should be a regular part of the married life.
1Th. 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Source: Faith

The King of Pop meets the King of Kings

I was checking my facebook yesterday when I saw many of the status notifications say that MJ is dead. I asked myself, who’s MJ? Michael Jordan? Magic Johnson? Mick Jagger? Then I turned on CNN and saw the breaking news. It was Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson died at 50. He was supposed to start what he termed as “The Last Curtain Call”- a 50 day concert tour. He accomplished a lot in terms of being a “genius” of an artist. Received numerous awards and accolades. He re-invented pop music and funk. Thus, getting the title King of Pop.
But the sudden death of MJ has sent a lot of tremors in the entertainment/ music industry around the world. Millions of fans are grieving because of the demise of their idol. As the different TV networks are giving their tribute to the king, you would realize how much he shaped the music world in the last 5 decades. But there were also negative things that were said about him. On June 27, 2009, the final curtain did close on Michael Jackson. The King of Pop met the King of Kings.
I realized that no matter how famous or infamous you are, we ALL have ONE SHOT at life. Life is short. Our life on earth is limited. Our time is ticking away. Everyday, we are closer to our appointment with death.

Heb. 9:27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,
The question is, “Are you living your life to make a positive impact in this generation?”.
Next question, “Are you ready to meet your Maker?”
Don’t be a fool. Live life to the full.

Source: Faith

GOOD BUT NOT GOOD ENOUGH

2Chr. 24:1 Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem forty years. His mother’s name was Zibiah; she was from Beersheba.
2Chr. 24:2 Joash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the years of Jehoiada the priest.
Joash was a young boy when he started ruling over Judah that’s why he needed a mentor. He did a lot of reforms including the repair of the temple. He did what was right in the eyes of God as Jehoiada the priest instructed him. Joash did a lot that was good. But he did not go far enough. The high places were still there and the people continued to sacrifice to idols.
2Chr. 24:17 After the death of Jehoiada, the officials of Judah came and paid homage to the king, and he listened to them.
2Chr. 24:18 They abandoned the temple of the LORD, the God of their fathers, and worshiped Asherah poles and idols.
As long as Jehoiada was living, Joash served the Lord but when the priest died, Joash started to drift away and worship idols. He started listening to the advice of bad people. We must be careful to choose who we listen to for advice. We need to surround ourselves with godly men who will give us good counsel.
In the end, Joash was killed by his own officials who plotted against him.
2Chr. 24:25 When the Arameans withdrew, they left Joash severely wounded. His officials conspired against him for murdering the son of Jehoiada the priest, and they killed him in his bed. So he died and was buried in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.
As leaders, we must have the tenacity to follow through. Its not how we start that’s more important but its how we finish the race. We cannot just ride on our past successes and stay in our status quo. Joash started something very noble and had great intentions. But in the end, his life was the total opposite of what he started. It was good (start) but not good enough (finish).

Source: Faith