School

I woke up yesterday morning and seriously wished I could go back to sleep.  I had school to go to.

In business, I have done just about everything wrong that can be done, short of suicide.  So, I find myself, at the end of said decisions and practices, trying to do things differently.  Part of that process was getting out of bed.

I knew that I was going to make more mistakes.  I was going to fail more.  But I also knew, I couldn’t let it stop me.

So I got myself out of bed.

Alone, I walked out of the house and went to the job site.  I checked everything I could on my equipment and started up the first motor.  Then I filled up the water tank and started mixing ingredients.

Blah…  First problem.

Take equipment apart, clean everything, put it back together and start again.  Restart first motor and remix ingredients (to the tune of a couple hundred bucks down the drain).  Start second motor that ran for about five minutes and then died.

Fortunately, at this point, help had arrived.  We spent an hour or so diagnosing and then taking apart the carburetor and cleaning out bad fuel and gunk.  Restart motor.  Mix other ingredients and then we’re ready to go.

Ummm…

Why is everything going wrong?  The product looks wrong, the pumps keep shutting off.  We mixed things right but it ain’t right.

Shut down everything.  Check everything.  Start up again.  Lose more money.  Get more frustrated and discouraged.  Don’t quit.

Live with the thought that what I am fighting through now was caused by the poor decisions I made before.

But, don’t quit.

Product still doesn’t look right or feel right.  Just keep going.  Pumps shut off.  Reset and keep going.  When things look real bad throw it away and keep going.  Observe, criticize, listen to each other, help each other, ask questions, adapt, change, keep going.

Mistakes, yep.  Messy, yep.  Professional, no comment.

Job done, yep.  School.

I’m hoping someone needs to hear this today.  We think that God’s will is determined by how easy it is, how blessed, how “open the doors are.”  I don’t think so anymore.

It’s the downfall of scripture.  Abraham wasn’t even Abraham till he was like 90 years old.  Moses didn’t start his ministry till he was 80.  David didn’t become King till he was past 40.  Jesus, even Jesus, had to wait till he was 30.  That’s a lot of time to do things wrong before you do anything right.  And yes, I’m suggesting that maybe even Jesus made mistakes as he “increased in wisdom and in stature.”

Are you feeling broken by your past?  Does the weight of all you’ve done wrong, the mistakes that you’ve made, make you feel like it will never get any better?

Don’t quit.  That’s number one.  I’ll say it again, DON’T QUIT!

Let yourself be human, fail, get discouraged, ask questions, learn, keep going.

School never ends.

No Victory Here

Anyone who follows me, do you find yourself wondering if I messed up . . .

Again. . .

Doesn’t bother me.  I would be thinking the same thing.  Knowing what I know about humanity and our capacity for making huge claims and blowing it.  Knowing what I know about myself, my utter stupidity and huge rebellious streak.

My enemy, our enemy, knows our weaknesses too.  He sees my failures over the years.  He reminds me of them daily.  He points out my flaws, my shortcomings, my shame.

But I have a King.  How amazing to know that I have a King, a Hero,  a Savior that has chosen to twist my life into the threads and fabric of His kingdom.

His name is Jesus.  THE Prince of Peace!  THE GREAT I AM!

My freedom, my life, my victory is already secured.

The idea that I can be defeated.  The belief that, because of me, I will be a failure.  The hope that satan and his hosts cling to, that I will fall.

No.

You will have no victory here.

http://youtu.be/nZiiW2tLxEU

Accurate vs. Real

I am sitting in my fear and unwillingness to move.  Sure that I will fail and that all my hopes and dreams will come to nothing.  In this mental desert, I find myself dwelling on Moses.

Moses was a great man of God.  He was humble and decisive.  He was courageous and powerful.  He was a lot of things that I would want to be as a man.  But he had problems, too.  It is interesting to me that when God tells him to go confront Pharaoh in the scene at the burning bush, Moses is found arguing with God.  “But Lord, who am I?  I’m a nobody.  I don’t speak well.  What if no one listens to me?”  What is surprising me right now is that Moses had legitimate arguments.  I’ve heard this story a thousand times and right now it is surprising me.

We don’t know everything about Moses but I am sure he had a speech impediment.  He had lost all standing in Pharaoh’s court.  He was now a shepherd in the desert of Midian, working for his father-in-law.  No land, no title, no army, no presence.  And no one did willingly listen to him, not even his own people, initially.

What is stopping me right now?  I have no money.  I have been a failure for so much of my life.  My wife doesn’t trust me, doesn’t believe in me, and she is justified in her opinion.  No one is listening and most of the time I feel like no one should listen.

That is accurate but it isn’t real.  These arguments work and rightfully hinder any ambition Moses had, that I now have.  But not in the face of the greater reality of my King.  He determines what He has called me to.  He walks out the process, knows the end from the beginning.  He commands favor and allows hardship.  He speaks over each challenge, each obstacle.  And because of Him, the accuracy of my failings becomes nothing, the truth of who I am becomes meaningless in light of the truth of who He is.

And in this, He is glorified.  He is praised.

Who’s Talking Now?

I was looking at Matthew 12 where Jesus’ disciples are walking through the fields and eating the grain.  The pharisees pipe up, “Not Lawful!  Bad disciples, bad Jesus.”

How did they even see them doing this?  Why did they notice something that seems so meaningless?

Here’s my theory:

They were followers too.

Jesus had His disciples, twelve of them.  He also had many others that listened to Him and followed Him.  But there were others that walked along, following every action, every word.  They didn’t want to learn.  They wanted to tear apart.

Do you see this in your own life?  You start going in a good direction only to find that those around you are tearing you down.  You hear the condemning truth of how impossible your dreams are, how foolish you are, how you’ve failed so many times before.  They seem to be coming out of the woodwork, didn’t even know that they were there until you hear their voices.  “Bad!  Unlawful!  Not Christian!  Not Holy!”  They seem so mature.  They talk a good game.  They sound like they have life, living, God all figured out.

Then Jesus breaks in.  Man wasn’t made for the laws but laws were made for man.  God sees you as more important than rules.  God, CREATOR GOD, says, “There is therefore no more condemnation…”

Are you following Him?  Are you listening to Him?  Be in His word!  Listen to Godly counsel!  Pray!  And LIVE!

Those “clanging cymbals” are silenced by a “still, small voice.”