I want to ask you a question today. What does it mean to not fail? Most people when asked this question reply by saying, “Not failing, is succeeding.” Just like this picture above, failure and success have become antonyms. This is not the case. I have found that the two words have a path that is very close together. Although the main concept of that is somewhat true, I would like to give you a different aspect on what it means to not fail and that is, failing. Yes it sounds a bit redundant but if you are not failing, you must be failing. Let me explain this idea for a little bit.
Our life is a journey. A long story that we walk through and that we learn as we go along and we take risks. We set out to be the best person we can be. The moment that we stop taking risks and stepping out in areas that have potential of failure, we stop growing and miss out on what could have been. The only way for us to reach where we want to go is by failing and learning from the mistakes we made. Each time we fail, it is one step closer to our success. Without failure, there is not success.
I say that as an encouragement to where you are. Never be afraid to fail. Inversely, if you are in a place where you haven’t failed recently and have not put yourself in a position to fail, I would say that you haven’t stepped out of the comfort zone you are in and need to do so soon! We need to learn that failure is as much a part of our lives as death and taxes; it will never go away and much greater than death and taxes, we can learn and grow in a huge way if we learn to master what failure is.
To succeed, you will fail. Embrace that concept and learn to be excited when failure comes next time around.
Dreams are what drive us. They keep a motivation for us. They help us think about what’s next. But dreams will always stay dreams unless we take small steps to achieve them. Dreams are meant to keep your passion going, but daily decisions are what get you to your dreams.
Today, you will be met with 100’s of decisions and choices to make. We often forget how important each of these decisions we make are. Every choice we make will steer us towards our dreams or away. Be guided by God and choose wisely.
Your God given dreams will guide your path but your daily decisions will get you there.
What decisions do you need to make for your dreams today? What can I pray with you about to help you along your path?
Amazing time at Ammo Camp this year. Now, we prepare for Ammunition Conference 2011. http://www.iamammo.com
There has been a lot of conversation going on within our ministry about the idea of hyping God. It has spurred a lot of questions and talk which is always a good thing. I’ve traveled and led worship in many different churches, venues, and festivals and have seen worship come in many different styles. After seeing all that I’ve seen, I do not believe you can hype God. Here are my reasons why:
To hype something, in a basic term, means to make something bigger than it is. When you think of hype, you generally think of people talking something up bigger or more extravagant than what it is. With God, He is bigger and more extravagant than anything we can imagine. Therefore, we cannot talk Him up bigger than what he is.
Where we often get mislead or confused is seeing a time where people come in to a service or event, shout, go crazy, jump, yell, etc, then leave and don’t act the same. Is this hype? If they aren’t living the lifestyle that they showed in the service, then what are they doing?
I have seen people shout, jump and lose it during a service and walk away still messed up and broken making dumb choices. To me, this is all part of the walk with God. If we have the mindset that we can’t worship God because we have messed up or aren’t perfect, we don’t understand what worship is completely. We worship because God commanded it, not because we feel like it.
God made all of creation to worship Him. Trees, nature, human beings, everything. We are the only creation that has a soul, feelings and emotions. This is why so many times, our shout is shut up in our worship. The Bible is very clear on jumping, shouting, dancing, having quite intimate times, lifting hands, kneeling, etc; the outward expressions of worship. So when I am not lining up with those actions, which are commanded, I need to change my feelings to line up with the Bible. The inverse would be changing the Bible’s commands to line up with my emotions, which never ends good.
I never want to be someone who judges another for his or her worship. That is between them and God alone. I would much rather see someone who is completely engulfed in sin, worship through it, jumping, shouting, and dancing in worship then see someone who has become so indoctrinated that the shout is shut up.
There is a strong difference between hypocrisy and hype. We can’t hype God but we can become hypocrites. This is the person who jumps, shouts, dances and has no intention of changing his or her life to line up with Go; just doing it for the fun of it. Very rarely have I seen this. What I usually see is someone who may not understand all the way what they are doing in regards to worship in the beginning but eventually the heart lines up, which always is an amazing thing to witness.
What do you think? Can we hype God?
Ammo 2011 Teaser Promo Video I’ve been working on with the incredible Andy Much. Loving how it is turning out.
// Get ready for Ammunition Conference 2011! Check out this teaser trailer. More info at http://www.iamammo.com
Everyone has dreams. Some dreams are huge and take years to develop and grow. Other dreams are small and will happen quickly. But what about when reality doesn’t match the dream?
I have seen many people question even the existence of God because of this matter. Why would God give you a passion and a dream but not let it happen? Here is what I have found to be true:
- Every dream has a time of sowing and a time or reaping. We can NEVER expect a dream to happen if we don’t know that it needs a time to grow inside of us before it is let out. And once it is let out, we must realize that it will take time for people around us to catch it and eventually for the public to understand it.
- The dream usually happens suddenly. This is why it is so important that we don’t give up. You never know when the right moment will come along and suddenly, everything changes. If you keep moving and keep trying new ways of developing your dream, you will eventually get to the dream that you have. If you quit, you will never get to the dream you have.
- When it feels like reality doesn’t match the dream, learn to look into your life and change what needs to be changed. Look into your worship team, organization, church and change what needs to be changed. Ask mentors, leaders, friends and family around you what they think you need to change, but never give up on the purpose you feel you are set out to accomplish.
Harvest it, grow it, wait for it and change what you can. Never give up on the purpose in your heart. When reality doesn’t match the dream, keep dreaming and don’t lose hope.
I wrote a blog a couple of days ago about making good choices. This is a follow up to that entry on how we can train ourselves to make good choices:
1) Learn your emotions and how to control them.
Emotions can be a killer and we all have them. Fear, insecurity and anger are just a few that commonly effect our decisions. Learn what each of those emotions feels like and control it. When it rises up, wait until it passes to make your decision.
2) Trust the advice of mentors.
First, make sure you have mentors and people in your life that speak into you. If you are stuck on a decision that seems incredibly hard to make, talk to them and get their advice. Most likely, they will be able to give you better advice than what you can give yourself because they aren’t swayed by the circumstances within the decision you need to make. They are on the outside looking in and can give objective help.
3) Don’t make rash decisions.
Have you ever heard the expression, “Don’t make decisions when you are tired or hungry?” This is SO true. We want to be in a normal. calm state of mind when we make our choice. If we aren’t, chances are we are going to be swayed to make a rash decision.
4) Stick it through.
When is it time to call it quits and when is the time to keep going? It’s always a hard thing to decide. John Maxwell wrote a blog recently that implored us to not change our lives when we are in a difficult time but only when things are successful. When we uproot and change our situations within a difficult season, we can’t fully see all that is really happening because we are engulfed by life’s circumstances. We must stick it through until we have returned to the mountain top before we make the decision to move on in life.
5) Look to God’s Word.
Reading scripture will bring us to Truth. You will be shocked at how applicable God’s Word is to today’s situation. Getting lost in studying this Word will shape our character to make good decisions naturally.
Every small decision you make will add to what your life becomes. We must remember this with every choice we make.
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This last weekend, we had the privilege of getting to minister in Chicago. As we were walking down the streets of Michigan Ave near the John Hancock building, a son got out of a car and I heard the Mom tell him some simple advice in three words, “Make good choices.”
Such power in such a simple statement. Too often, we forget how powerful our choices are; where we move to, our job, our friends, where we spend our money, where we attend church are all relatively small decisions in the moment, but looking at the big picture these decisions shape us into who we are and mold our lives.
If we make good choices, what’s to come? I would say a great family, happiness, financial prosperity all would follow. If we make bad choices, the opposite would ensue.
I like to think of how we relate this to God. How many times do we make terrible choices, then pray for God to make everything great again? Sometimes I think God might be looking at us saying, “What do you think I gave you a brain for? Use it!” But what do we like to do? Make a giant mess then ask for God to bail us out. We have to break out of this.
Ahh…. wouldn’t life be great if every we choice we made was the right choice? I know, I know, much easier said then done. But, if we consume ourselves with the Word of God, it becomes much easier to make great decisions.
Here is my challenge to everyone reading this; Go one day thinking about everything you do before you do it and ask yourself, “Does this line up with God’s word?” From what you say, to creativity, to ministry, to work, it all falls into place when we line up with God’s Word.
What do you think? How have your recent choices affected you? What changes have you made to make right decisions?
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Have Christians Killed the Church?
I’ve been thinking a lot on this topic lately. There is so much creativity that flows from people. Being a Christian, how much more creativity and ideas should we have being that we are connected to God? Yet, reality is we look to the world for trends, fashion, design, music, etc and then copy it. Why is that? Why aren’t we as believers setting the standard for others to follow? I believe it is due to the church as a whole. Think about it. We only allow certain songs to be played, certain graphics to be displayed, certain messages to be preached and our justification is that we don’t want to offend anyone or lose anyone.
The secular world does not have this standard. They create something and if people like it, great; if they don’t, it fails, but the song, idea, blog, etc is put out there for everyone to digest. I don’t know how many times I have thought to myself “Is this congregational?” when picking out songs or looking to make a decision for a service or church. How many great ideas have I thrown away because I was afraid of it “Not going over well” or “it doesn’t fit our style.”
Let’s face it, we as a church have created the culture that we as a church think is cheesy and dislike so much. SO…. What do we do? Take risks. Break the mold. Be different. Whenever you are looking at making decisions for your set, design, etc, and are confronted with the thought “We have never done this before,” do it! Allow the creativity to flow from inside as never let what people think or may say about it effect you.
By doing this, I believe we can break a spirit of religion that has so heavily influenced the church and see innovation from believers like we have never seen.
What do you think? Has the spirit of religion ruined the creativity in believers? What needs to change to become the leaders of innovation?
// Most people who know the story of Jesus understand that the Pharisees didn’t receive Jesus as Christ. God sent His son as a gift down to the world and he wasn’t accepted by the religious leaders of the day. I’ve been reading through the gospels again lately and I began to ask myself as I was reading the story of Jesus healing on the Sabbath, “Is there anything God has given me or sent me that I have missed?” Everyone’s answer should be yes or else they are an angel, and I would like to meet them…
// But to really dig into that question is where we can start to change our thinking. Think in all the areas of your walk with God; faith, miracles, worship, even giving our money to name a few; has God told us something and we have been so caught up in our rituals or what we have been taught growing up that we have completely missed what he wanted to do in us?
// Ultimately, it comes down to being too religious to fully receive the gospel of Christ and understanding it. When we become religious, we get so engulfed in what we think is right or what the church is doing and completely forget that God called us to have a relationship with him and not to have a religion with him.
// A relationship with Christ changes your life. A life consumed by religion can ruin it.
// How do you apply it? Most Christians think that going to church is what needs to be done to be a Christian. That simply put is not at all what God wants from us. Imagine a father and a son relationship where they only meet once a week at a family reunion, how well would that relationship be? On the contrary, when you think of a father and a son who constantly talk, share their feelings, in essence, love on each other, that is the relationship we all want to have. That’s what God wants from us, constant communication. Constant prayer, reading your scripture as much as possible, faith, worship and church combined are the ways to break religion. Always chose relationship over religion.