Educating Equipping Empowering
|Posted on January 18, 2018 at 7:55 PM||comments (57)|
The Relationship Between Personal and Corporate Vision
Your vision is not what makes you similar but it is the very thing that makes you stand out. Vision makes you distinct and separates you from everyone else yet it is the very thing that also joins and unites us. We are soon to find that vision not only impacts others but requires the assistance of other in order to bring forth that which is birthed in your heart, seen in the eye of your imagination and made a reality. Additionally, you will discover that often your vision is only a part of a much larger, corporate vision.
Have you ever wondered why you are in the church you attend? Do you know the vision and mission statement of the church that you are a mamber of? Do you know how your gifts and talents are to be used in relation to the vision and mission statement? Are you knowledgeable and trained in your gifts and talents? Do you know what your personal vision statement is? Do you understand how how your vision is to undergird and support the vision and mission of your assigned church? The answer to these questions are important if we are to properly align ourselves with our God given purpose and the purpose for serving not only within the church but outside it as well.
Often we take jobs not understanding that even they have a role in the actualization of our vision. Many times we take jobs out of necessity, pay, benefits, etc. When we do this can miss or postpone what God has for us. You see, even our place of employment should be a part of your vision. Our ability to understand why we work at a certain place, in a particular field, for a specific employer is critical in fulfilling our vision. We should know the vision and mission statement for our places of employment, why we are there and how we are to assitance in the execution of the vision and mission statement.
As you can see there is more to vision than meets the natural eye and our ability to tap into the Spirit and allow God to reveal our destinies to us must increase! Everything we do, the relationship we forge even our finances have a purpose which should ultimately relate back to our visions!
|Posted on January 10, 2018 at 1:05 PM||comments (37)|
Have you ever felt as if you were wasting your time? As if you were spinning your wheels but going nowhere fast? Have you ever felt as if every day was on repeat...busy but not seemingly accomlishing much? If you have welcome to the club! There are many frustrated by working much and seeing little return on their investment of time whether that investment was or is in a relationship, career, finances, etc. One reason for this may be the absence of vision or the absence of the correct vision. Allow me to explaine.
Vision is has to do with our ability to see whether that seeing is in a thought, concept, or something formed in our imagination. when we begin to, by faith, envision something (a dream, a goal, a desire, etc.) in our mind then that thing, whatever it is, begins to become alive and eventually a reality. It is similar to what we read in Romans 4:17 when by faith we begin to call those things which do not exist as though they did. The difficulty and frustration occurs when we do not possess vision because we do not understand our purpose.Purpose is the reason for which something or someone exists. According to Scripture God has created each of us with a divine sense of purpose which He alone can satisfy and when we are not aware or knowledgeable of our divine purpose we tend to look to the world and the things of the world to satisy this deep longing or desire within us. We fail to understand that it is God alone who not only satisfies this longing or desire and that He is also the Revealer of it as well. Instead of looking to the world to fulfill a void in our inner most being we must turn to the Creator Himself to call forth and reveal our purpose and give us our vision.We will soon find that a vision from God is never selfish but will in some way always impact and interact with others. We will discover that it is our God given vision that assists us in revealing who we are (our identity) and why we exist. Additionally we will see that vision may begin signularly but it will expand corporately. It is at this juncture that we must ask ourselves some very important questions before we proceed:
- How does your vision impact others?
- What is the motivation for your vision
- Why do you want to do what you do?
- Can you accomplish your vision and still have integrity?Over the next couple of weeks we will begin to search out the answer to these and other such questions that will assists us in discoverying our purpose and our vision but first start by seeking God and asking Him to speak to you regarding your purpose and the vision He has for your life. If you already know such things ask God to examine your heart as you answer the above questions. Allow this to become a special time between you and the Lord as He speaks to you in only a way that a Father can speak to His child. Remeber, there is a way that seems right to a man but the end there of is death (Proverbs 14:12). We are wise indeed to seek the Architect who possess the blueprint for our lives.Kingdom Blessings,Apsotle Anna
|Posted on September 4, 2017 at 4:20 PM||comments (44)|
Any successful leader will be sure to tell you that one key to achieving success is to ensure that you train up other leaders who possess the ability to facilitate the vision and assist in accomplishing the mission. This, in part, was what we find occuring in Exodus 18: 13-26
13.The next day, Moses took his seat to hear the people's disputes against each other. They waited before him from morning till evening. 14. When Moses' father-in-law-saw all that Moses was doing for the people , he asked, "What are you really accomplishing here? Why are you trying to do all this alone while everyone stands around you from morning till evening?" 15. Moses replied, "Because the people come to me to get a ruling from God. 16. When a dispute arises, they come to me, and I am the one who settles the case between the quarreling parties. I inform the people of God's decrees and give them His instructions." 17. This is not good! Moses' father-in-law exclaimed. 18. You're going to wear yourself out-and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself. 19. Now listen to me, and let me give you a word of advice, and may God be with you. You should continue to be the people's representative before God, bringing their disputes to Him. 20. Teach them God's decrees, and give them His instructions. Show them how to conduct their lives. 21. But select from all the people some capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes. Appoint them as leaders over groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten. 22. They should always be avaliable to solve the people's common disputes, but have them bring the major cases to you. Let the leaders decide the smaller matters themselves. They will help you carry the load, making the task easier for you. 23. If you follow this advice, and if God commands you to do so, then you will be able yo endure the pressures, and all these people will go home in peace. 24. Moses listened to his father-in-law's advice and followed his suggestions. 25. He chose capable men from all over Israel and appoint them as leaders over the people. He put them in charge of groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten. 26. These men were always avaliable so solve the people's common disputes. They brought the major cases to Moses, but they took care of the smaller matters themselves." (NLT)
It became Moses' responsibility to identify and teach designated leaders the decrees and instructions of God. In doing this Moses was accomplishing several important leadership tasks:
(1) Moses recognized wisdom and listened to the advice of Jethro, his father-in-law. Leaders must allow other leaders access into their lives and provide insight into matters that affect not only the leader's quality of life but the lives of those that they are responsible for.
(2) Moses was delegating his duties. Delegating responsibilities is a leadership function. Identifying what tasks that were to be delegated was important as well. Moses needed to use wisdom and discretion in selecting what matters to pass off and which to retain. Moses was responsible for teaching the people God's decrees and giving them His instructions. From this juncture he could then delegate other associated matters or tasks to selected leaders. Leaders, through impartation, learn to multiply themselves.
(3) As a leader, Moses was responsible for selecting those leaders who were capable, honest, and would not take bribes. In other words Moses was responsible be selecting leaders of good character and judgment. This is a primary function of the one in charge and at this point should not be delegated.
(4) Moses then had to make the decison of which leaders would be over the thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. Leaders need to be able to distinguish the strengths and weaknesses of the leaders underneath them to properly place them. These decisions cannot be made based on popularity or personality. Because of such there may be some who will not agree with your selection but you must be willing to not just make the best decisions but stand by them as well.
The resullts of Moses' heeding the advice of wise counsel reduced his work load and the stress that accompanied it. As leaders let's make sure that we have wise counsel in our lives, that they have the autonomy to speak to situations as they see them, and the wisdom to heed their advisement.
|Posted on August 29, 2017 at 7:30 PM||comments (124)|
Generally when we are provoked ~ annoyed, angry, vexed, or enraged ~ we are not likely thinking of purpose nor cognizant that we can use these emotions to position us to bring forth something great instead of something destructive that we often times later regret. This post centers around the story of Hannah found in 1 Samuel 1:1-19. I don't want to make this long and drawn out but there are definitley some power points that we need to consider that may assist us the next time we encouter our Peninnah. Let's take a look.
- Hannah's womb was deliberately closed by the Lord. Closed not because of anything that she had did yet she had to deal with the perceptions, speculations and opinions of others. Remember, to be barren was considered to be a curse. Have you ever found yourself in a situation that you seemed cursed, not able to produce or be fruitful in even though you were/are fruitful in other areas and had/have to deal with the opinions, perceptions, and speculations of others?
- God used Hannah's barrenness to bring her to a place of desperation and Peninnah's provocation to bring her to a place of prayer. Do you have a Peninnah? Peninnah can be an instrument in the Lord's hand to bring you to a place of proper positioning for your purpose.
- Hannah exeprienced bitterness of her soul but refused to allow her condition and situation to make her bitter. What situation is causing you to become bitter? Never allow situations or circumstances to make you bitter.
- The way Hannah responded to her situation, particularly Peninnah was critical to her succcess. Pettiness shows immaturity. Never allow pettiness to dictate your response. Respond to provocation with dignity. Have you found yourself being petty?
- Hannah never retaliated to the one who was provoking her instead she used the weapon of her enemy to bring her to a place of prayer. Where do you go when the enemy is harrassing you?
- Hannah had to deal with being misunderstood by her husband, Elkanah. There are some desires that only God will be able to understand. Face it, there are just some things that even the ones who love you the most won't get about you. Don't sweat it. Remain faithful and persevere.
- Hannah experienced false accusations from the religious leader of the day. Eli, the priest, accused Hannah of being drunk. He misjudged the sorrow of her soul. She did not become offended. In regard to authority she humbly expressed her desire to leadership.
- Through all of this Hannah continued to pray and worship God. Are you able to still worship God in the midst of being misunderstood and falsely accused? Do you, can you stay low so that God may take you high?
|Posted on May 7, 2017 at 2:35 PM||comments (33)|
Warning! This message is not for everybody but it is for some. It is for those who are sick and tired of being sick and tired so if that is you then this message is for you. In it you will find helpful hints and timely tools for departing the old and entering into the new. Let's begin by taking a look at some very familiar passages of Scriptures:
1. "In the third month after the children of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on the same day, they came to the Wilderness of Siani. 2. For they had departed from Rephidim, had come to the Wilderness of Siani, and camped in the wilderness. So Israel camped there before the mountain. 3. And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called him from the mountain, saying, "Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: 4. 'You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagle's wings and brought you to Myself. 5. 'Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. 6. 'And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel." 7. So Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before them all these words which the Lord commanded him. 8. Then all the people answered together and said, "All that the Lord has spoken we will do." So MOses brought back the words of the people to the Lord. 9. And the Lord said to Moses, "Behold, I come to you in the thick lof the cloud, that the people may hear when I speak to you, and believe you forever." 10. Then the Lord said to Moses, "Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes. 11. And let them be redy for the third day. For on the third day the Lord will come down upon Mount Siani in the sight of all the people. 12. You shall set bounds for the people all around saying, Take heed to yourselves that you do not go up to the mountain or touch its base. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death."
18. "Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightening flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off. 19. Then they said to Moses, "You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die." 20. And Moses said to the people, "Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin." 21. So the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near the thick darkness were God was."
Now you may be wondering what these particular Scriptures have to do with 'Exit Strategies and Departures' so let's begin to break this message down. First, let's ensure that we are all on the same page when we are referencing exit strategies. An exit strategy is a preplanned means of extricating oneself from a situation that is likely to become difficult or unpleasant. This so accurately describes the Israelites current situation. As we know they were under the oppression of Pharaoh who made their lives absolutely unbearable. Many of us are living under, in, and with some unbearable conditions and situations. It was time to make an exit and the God had an exit strategy unlike any other and just like He had an exit strategy for the children of Israel, He has an exit strategy for yours!
Let's examine their current situation and location. The Israelites were a people in transition just as many of us are. To be in transition means that we are in a process or period of changing from condition or state to another. It means movement or passage. God had just delivered them from Pharaoh, from Egypt and they were now in the Wilderness of Sinai. They had left a place of oppression and slavery. Egypt is what many of us can relate to. It is the place of "tired of being sick and tired". It is the place where we do not have the ability to free or deliver ourselves. It can also be a place of great frustration. Egypt is the place that we often find ourselves saying or singing, "It's gonna take a miracle". But that's okay because it is moments just like these that we realize that while Egypt is a place of opporssion for us it is also a place of our departure. It is their current location but it is not their destination.
Indeed, God delivered them and now they find themselves in the Wilderness of Sinai. This was not Canaan, their promise. No longer were they in the public eye. They were now in a very private place, the wilderness. It would be here that they would experience the dealings of God as He began to prepare them for their destination. God used Mount Sinai to expose what was in their hearts and minds. God does this very same thing in our lives. We find that He delivers us and brings us into a new place to deal with the things and/or roots and residue of our bondage. It is important for us to understand that God has no intention of bring us into a new place with an old mind-set rooted in poverty that would cause us to abuse, forfeit, or otherwise lose our blessing, our promise.
It is during these times that God purposely places obstacles before us. Not because He doesn't love us or doesn't want to bless us but because He wants us to now begin to deal with those things that have been dealing with us. Things like our emotional outburts, our uncontrollable anger, the way we lust for things and people, the unforgiveness that is still in our hearts. You know, those things. God deals with us at the bottom of Mount Sinai so He can prepare us for our entrance into our land of promise, of milk and honey.
When God delivered the Israelites from Egypt that was totally His move, His power in demonstration. Hands down He delivered them from their oppressor. When He delivered us, hands down that was all Him but now that He has bore us upon the wings of eagles and set us is a safe place~not necessarily our promise land~He will require our agreeance and obedience. This is now on us. AHe has done HIs part now it is time for us to do ours. Our entrance into our next will require our agreement and our obedience to God and Hios instructions. His instructions will guide us out of our wilderness and into the new place He desires to bring us into.
Recall from our Scripture reading that God set boundaries for the people. Designated places where the Israelites could not cross. This also pertains to us as well. Once we encounter our new freedom we must take precautions through establishing boundaries to safeguard our new freedom. These boundaries may include boundaries with people or places or even both. These boundaries are necessary for our progress and development as we make this transition.
What will assist us to exit successfully? Here are some strategies that are very practical and applicable: (1) Do not resist the necessary changes that will be required as a result of saying good-bye to "being tired of being tired of sick and tired". We have to develop and nurture a different lifestyle that protects our new found freedom and healing (2) Learn to function being uncomfortable. Transitioning is often an uncomfortable time for us and can lead to frustration. It is here that we learn how to cultivate the peace of God (3) Address and overcome personal fears which will cause you to doubt the promises of God for your life (4) Boldy move forward in radical faith based on history that you have with God.
We must move forward in faith with no drawing back from the presence of God. Often we draw back because we are not familiar with this level of intimacy with God. This is what the Israelites did, they drew back from God and desired that Moses be the one to meet with God and they would then hear the from the Lord through him. They chose the voice of Moses over God's voice first hand. Often we let our leaders be the only ones that we will hear from instead of learning God's voice for ourselves. It is not that leadership does not have a voice in our lives but God wants to speak to us personally as well.
As we bring this post to a close I just want to draw your attention to the fact that this was the first time that God spoke to the Israelites as a nation and called them out as such. He called them a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. We find these same words in 1 Peter 2:9 where we are addresses as a chosen generation, aroyal priesthood, a holy nation and God's own special people. God is now speaking and relating to us from our new, our true identity that was hashed out during our wilderness experience. This is the identity we need for our new location, our new destination, our Canaan!
|Posted on February 18, 2017 at 2:20 PM||comments (34)|
Sometimes life can make us feel and even at times cause us to believe that we and our lives are of no relevance, of no significance that because of the current place we find ourselves that somehow God has forgotten us. Perhaps in our logical minds we, if fact, do believe that He (God) will never leave us or forsake us but the lonliness that we feel seems to be speaking louder and appear more real that the Bible verses we have memorized. Our faith is failing and we find yourself slipping into an even darker place.
Have you ever felt this overwhelming sense of 'aloneness'? I have. I know what it's like when the darkness seems greater than the Light but it really is an illusion strategically designed by the enemy to cause us to doubt not just the plan of God for our lives but His love for us. That somehow He is so busy running the universe that He doesn't have time for us, that somehow He has forgotten or even overlooked us. After all, if He hadn't wouldn't we feel His presence? Wouldn't He fix all the things that are wrong with our lives? I mean, if He really is concerned about us, if He hasn't forgotten us, right?
The prophet Isaiah reminds us during this time that regardless of how we feel or the current state of our lives that God indeed is very mindful of us, that He couldn't forget us even if He would ever want to. You see, we - you and me -are inscribed on the very palms of God's hands! He so loves us that He etched our names, He inscribes our names upon His palms! The God of the universes got a tatoo of our names upon His palms as a sign of the eternal love and commitment He has pledged to us. More than that, our lives are always before Him.
Isaiah 49:16 "See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me."
I get it, the darkness is real BUT never more real than God's great and eternal love for us. We just have to learn to trust that love and in the midst of adversity, especially in adversity, those are the times that by faith and in faith, that we need to declare His amazing love for us. You see, He really does have us in the palm of His hands. We can count on that. His love is unfailing and never ending!
|Posted on January 1, 2017 at 8:45 PM||comments (4)|
Happy New Year!!
For some this is a time of celebration and when hope is renewed. It is a time of expectation and renewed committment, where plans have been made to better ourselves and our lives. This time of the year can be compared to the blank canvas of an artist that is waiting for the artist to release that which lies within his imagination. The New Year is a time when many find it is easy to put the past in its proper perspective and look forward to the endless possibilities that lies ahead. It is a time to believe once again and perhaps rightfully so. Maybe God knows how much we need this time.
His Word tells us:
"Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." (Isaiah 43:18-19)
Sometimes we ALL need a fresh start, do-overs. The dawning of a new year provides us with such an opportunity. A time when, while we learn from our mistakes, we need to put them in their proper perspective-proper context and content in our lives and move forward, taking advantage of this new time that God has so graciously given to us. It is a time of reflection-on the good and bad-so that we are able to go into this new year with greater clarity and understanding of what God is doing in us and what He has for us.
The New Year becomes the prime opportunity for us to write the vision and make it plain. A time for us to seek God's amazing plans and purposes for our lives. God IS doing a NEW thing right in our very midst and this is the season for us to engage God and HIs plan. A time to explore the incedibly wonderful ideas and thoughts that He has of us and towards us. Put aside your fears and apprehensions and embrace this time fearlessly, courageously!!! Afterall, He is committted to making supernatural and divine provision for us!
|Posted on October 17, 2016 at 8:00 PM||comments (39)|
One distinguishing feature regarding breakthrough believers is their fierce, undeniable faith. All throughout the Scriptures from Noah to Abraham to Rahab to the early apostles and Christians we see great faith in demonstration. We witness their faith as it is challenged and at time put on trial. We are able to preview the applied and assumed criticism and ridicule that they must have encountered but more importantly we see the kinf of faith that was perfected, matured in the fire of geat crises and tragedy and come forth refined to the glory of God! May we also possess this same faith! In this hour may we have the wisdom to recognize the various opportunities that we are presented with to grow and mature our faith for we know that without faith it is impossible to please God!
|Posted on September 13, 2016 at 5:35 PM||comments (2)|
As we continue our study on breakthrough believers we find that one of the primary characteristics that describe the breakthrough believer is that they operate in present day truths and experience continious revelations of God and HIs Word. One reason for this is that they are committed to being led by the Holy Spirit. As a result of this they often find themselves at odds with the people and culture around them. They don't see things like everyone else. They make it a habit to process situations and circumatances through the precepts and principles of God's Word so while others are drawing back from the uncomfortable, unfamiliar, and uncommon things we see the breakthrough believer moving towards them. This was demonstrated in the book of Acts when Peter had to confront his own opinions and fears (Acts 10:28). The breakthrough believers of today possess the courage to first confront and deal with their own limitations and fail to settle for anything less that the fullness of God in their lives regardless of what it may cost them. Because of this mindset we see them being giving access to reach people with the love, power, healing, and heart of God. We see them operating in a suprnatural realm that otherwise is not assessable (Acts 10:44-45, Acts 11:1)
|Posted on June 27, 2016 at 2:25 PM||comments (3)|
You may be wondering 'who' or 'what' is a breakthrough believer? Are they in the Bible? One of the best ways to describe a breakthrough believer is by addressing 'who' they are because 'what' they are flows from the 'who'. Let me explain but before I do, yes, we witness breakthrough belivers all throughout the Bible we may have just never viewed them as such. So, let's get started.
We begin in 2 Samuel 5:17-25 when the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel and sought to kill him. David proceeds to go down to the stronghold with the Philistines following. It was here that David inquired of the Lord whether he should go up against the Philistines. With the blessing of the Lord David defeated his enemies at Baal Perazim which literally means "Master of Breakthroughs".
The above account reveals an aspect of God's nature that we as the children of God possess within us as well. This aspect of God's nature provides us with the supernatural strength and endurance to overcome all odds. It is more of a mindset that the believer possess rather than a purely human, or physical strength. Every believer has this ability within them but whether we activate it or not is the question. Unfortunately not every one is taught that they possess this grace and that this grace is activated by faith in God's Word regarding who He says that we are and what He says we can do based upon our faith in Him and subsequently HIs word because we know that God is one with His Word.
Many have knowledge of the truths contained within the Scriptures but may lack revelation of those truths or have revelation of the truth but do not relationship with it. This may be because they have not embraced, by faith, what God is communicating to them through HIs Word. So, the first step in understanding who we are as breakthrough believers is to understand that is a mindset developed and demonstrated through faith in the revealed Word of God.