Archives For growth

Get Back Up!

Jason Petermann  —  January 9, 2013 — Leave a comment

Life ChangeGuess what I have noticed at the gym this week? The “new year crowd” is already gone. That sure did not last long! Maybe it is just a fluke and everyone had to go out of town this week or just could not get up early to work out. But either way, they are not there.

How are you doing on your life-change decisions? Have you faltered? That is OK! Don’t quit! Just get back at it. Daily make the decision to do right, to take a step to live for God!

Proverbs 24:16 says

for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again…

That is pretty good news for those of us that are human! We WILL fall. We WILL make mistakes. We WILL sin. But did you see what that verse says – “a righteous man falls.” Yes, the “righteous man.” He falls, but he gets back up! God’s grace does not overlook sin, it just says your sin does not hold you down – and it gives you the power to get back up!

Life ChangeBig events and moments are wonderful to experience and be a part of. That conference, missions trip or huge community outreach event that you are a part of has the ability to emotionally charge you up and bring excitement to your life. But once it is over, what then?

Before you misunderstand what I am about to say, let me be clear: I like BIG events! I go to conferences and have big events held by my church for our community. I love missions trips and think that everyone should go on at least one – preferably while they are young! So I am not against the annual events or large scale experiences that you can be a part of.

Those conferences and missions trips can bring about life-change in a person, but the reality is this: Real life-change is a day by day process. You may be motivated by a large event or experience to change your life, but the proof of that is played out as you make decisions each and every day that validate the life-change you are making.

In other words, don’t just tell me you want to be closer to God because of that experience you just had, do something to make it happen! What good is it to say you want a closer relationship with God, but yet you will not take the time to read His Word and pray. Don’t tell me you love the people on the mission field you just went to, but yet you do not serve on a consistent basis loving people in your local church ministry or loving people you rub shoulders with every day.

Real life change is evidenced in the way you live each and every day. Small deposits, made on a consistant basis, bring great change!

It is just like working out. You cannot go to the gym one time, for five hours, and think it will do much for you. But go ten times for 30 minutes and you will start to see results!

Real life change is the result of consistant deposits into that which brings about the change that you are looking for.

Start changing your life – one day at a time!

Don’t make resolutions… make life changes!

Life-Change

I know, it may be a matter of just wording to some, but the idea is this:

Every year people make resolutions to “do better” in areas of life. They are well-intentioned and certainly heart-felt.

It may be:

  • losing weight
  • being better organized
  • reconnecting with friends or family
  • doing better financially

Those things are all great. In fact, I have made some of those same resolutions. But until I actually did something about any area of resolution, they were at best empty words.

We even do the same in our spiritual life. We will:

  • “Live more” for God
  • Spend more time reading the Bible and in prayer
  • Reach out more to people
  • You fill in the blank

Nothing happens by good intentions. It takes action. Action YOU decide to take.

J Oswald Sanders said,

“We are at this moment as close to God as we really choose to be.”

The truth is this: until you actually DO something to change, nothing will happen. You can wish for it all you want, but YOU have to make the decision to take a step: to wake up earlier to read and pray, to step out and serve other people, to be more generous with your time and money.

The question is not “can you?” – but “will you?”

Here are a few ideas and resources to start:

  • Find a church, start attending and get plugged in
  • Bible reading plans: http://www.youversion.com/reading-plans
  • Join a Bible Study group: (for all my peeps at Christ Community Church, go here: http://wp.me/P2x6el-49 )
  • Schedule time to go and serve together as a family (your church probably has a few things you could do!)

Whatever it is, make a life change! Decide to DO something and then take action on it! Change your life… starting today!

After hearing Jeff Manion’s session at the Global leadership Summit, I immediately went out to the book table and bought his book titled, “The Land Between: Finding God in Difficult Transitions.” His talk resonated with me as we are in our own “land between” as we wait on God’s leading and timing in our life.  Personally, this book was a great reminder of God’s working in my life, and how that tends to happen more in the tough times than the good times.

Jeff takes us through the story of Israel and their travel from Egypt to the “Promised Land.”  During this time, Israel had multiple opportunities to trust in God’s plan and leading, and yet they consistently made the choice to grumble, complain and turn from God.  Jeff describes the “Land Between” as a place of transformational growth or a place where faith goes to die.  As Israel continues to make destructive decisions and responses to God’s leading, God continues to try and draw them to Him through provision and discipline.  Neither work, and as we know, Israel enters in to the 40 years on wandering in the wilderness.

Jeff shares personal stories, as well as stories from people he has encountered in many years of ministry that illustrate how the Land Between has the ability to shape us in to what God plans for us to be.  These times of difficult transition are what God uses in the stories of His people throughout the Bible to be used in a great way.

This book was certainly a great encouragement to me, and I know it will be to all who read it.  We will all go through these times.  How we respond will depend on whether we have transformational growth, or the death of our faith.  I choose to grow!

I just read a post by Eric Geiger, and though I usually post my best links of the week on Fridays, this one needed a post of its own.  It is something that has resonated deep within me for quite some time.

Eric says:

Often I hear deep lamenting from pastors and staff teams about the lack of volunteer engagement in their churches. And often I have discovered that the problem is not with the people but a faulty ministry culture that fosters low levels of volunteerism and perpetuates an unhealthy dependence on clergy. The typical approach to ministry in most churches stands in stark contrast to the biblical approach given to us clearly by God.

In the type of churches I grew up in, you had to have a “Pastor” involved in everything, and if there were too many things going on for one guy to do it, you hired another “professional pastor” to help out. That totally goes contrary to the Biblical model of equipping the saints for the work of the ministry! The church in America many times forgets that everyone within the local church has been gifted to serve, and if they are not serving, the body does not function properly. If we want to see our churches grow and thrive, we need to unleash the members to do ministry!

Now, go and read the rest of the article by Eric!