Monday Motivation: Plan to Succeed

Monday Motivation: Plan To Succeed

You’ve failed. Again. It’s time to reorganize. Start over. Begin again. Use a fresh approach, a new strategy. When you are discouraged, it’s probably not that you are doing the wrong thing, but you might be doing it in the wrong way. Our natural temptation is to give up on our dream. We think, “Maybe God didn’t give me this dream in the first place.” No, it’s probably just the opposite.

Is it the season to try a new approach to the same ministry? Washed up actors and soloists call a new approach “reinvention.” For those who need a facelift for their house, it’s called an ‘’extreme-makeover’ for your home. Have you faced a lot of discouragement? Have numerous problems remained unsolved? Does your workload seem unbelievable? It’s time to reorganize your schedule.  Evaluate things you need to cut out of your ministry.  Examine what is important and what is not important and get rid of the excess.  Get rid of those things that clutter your life, that are wasting your time.

Find the twenty percent of the things you have to do and focus on the ones that produce the greatest results.

Nehemiah was in the middle of rebuilding the Jerusalem wall. He saw the need to reorganize to complete the work. Nehemiah 4:13, “Therefore I stationed some people at the low points of the wall and exposed places, posting them by families with their swords and their spears and their bows.”  The key phrase here is, “We reorganized them by families.”  We need a ‘family’ support group. In our workplace, church, even our home-lives, we need a group of co-laborers. We need others we can share with and who will love us unconditionally.  There’s no such thing as Lone Ranger Christianity.

  1. Evaluate – You’ve accessed the need to reorganize. Now is the time to do so. Don’t wait until you feel like it because you never will.

  2. Examine – You’ve decided what is important. Now take the steps to get to where you want to go.

  3. Expect – You’ve invited your ‘family’ to be part of your solution. Now give them their marching orders. You can get there together. Remember we are better together.

“From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Ephesians 4:16

Let’s pray,

Father thank you for the opportunity to allow you to reorganize our goals. Let our plans be your plans. Let our desires be your desires. Let us evaluate, examine and expect for you to make things happen. Thank you for the body of Christ, who helps us do your will. Thank you for encouraging us to begin again. Thank you for giving us another opportunity to plan to succeed. For your glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Friday Favorites: Hopelessly Devoted

I love chocolate. I am an expert in seeking out and finding great (not just good) chocolate.

…filled with not only ‘chocolate sightings’ like the luscious semi-sweet chocolate cake in the photo but also lots of ‘chocolate tastings.’ Are you a chocolate lover, too?

Here’s my thoughts from my latest article my blog with Lead Like Jesus: http://www.leadlikejesus.com/blog/hopelessly-devoted

Even the wallpaper at the Hershey Lodge was covered in semi-sweet chocolate kisses. Sorry, I didn’t check to see if it was chocolate-flavored!

Enjoy – have a great weekend. With love and prayers, Sheryl

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

Luke 16:13

 

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

Romans 12:10

 

Friday Favorites: Restore the Wonder

Restore the Wonder photo

Good Friday morning to you, friends.

Do you agree? As you prepare for the weekend, my prayer is for you to take time to enjoy your Creator.

It helps to take time to notice His hand of creation all around you.

I have a few ideas for you in my article posted earlier this month with my blog for Lead Like Jesus.

Have a great time worshiping our great God!

Restore the Wonder

“Christians should be the most wonder-filled people in the world,” says writer Matthew Woodley. God created us to wonder. Wonder is an emotion aroused primarily by being in amazement. Wonder used as a verb is to notice, to marvel, and to be amazed. For some, the opposite may be our tendency. We are in a time crunch; we feel pressured to accomplish all that is on our plate, resulting in depression, sadness, exhaustion, or mood swings. The problem may be that we have forgotten how to wonder. Toddlers have an uncanny sense of marveling over even the smallest creature in creation. Once my two-year-old Ben held out a roly-poly bug in his chubby little hand. “Look, Mommy!” he said, as if he’d found buried treasure.

patience increases, peace and tranquility replaces the tyranny of the urgent. A “wonder” break is like breathing in spiritual fresh air; it’s a choice to ponder the greatness of God, to consider the handicrafts of the Creator. Take a second glance at the plant in your office as you are watering it. When held up in traffic, roll down your window and revel in the creation. Hug a toddler and find out what they are wondering about.

The children of Israel forgot how to wonder. Because they lost perspective, going back to slavery in Egypt seemed like a good idea. Nehemiah 9:17 records the consequences,

“And they refused to listen and did not remember Thy wondrous deeds which Thou hast performed among them. So they became stubborn and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But Thou art a God of forgiveness, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness, Thou didst not forsake them.”

Without regular times of praise and contemplation about our redemption, we forget the One who delivered us. If we don’t recall the ways He has worked, we forget His power and provision. How has God answered prayer lately? Journal entries can help us remember Gods’ ways of answering our prayers and providing for our every need. “He has made His wonders to be remembered,” reminds Psalm 11: 4. If you don’t wonder, you will wander. Moses gazed across the hillside as he moved the herd toward Mt. Horeb. Surveying his flocks for strays or injury was his custom. In the normal routine of his day, Moses saw something very out of the ordinary. Moses turned; he knew this sight was worthy of more than just a passing glance. An orange glow, burning brightly, seemed strangely wonderful. Exodus 3:2 says, “Moses thought, ‘I will go over and see this marvelous sight—why the bush does not burn up.’” Getting a closer look, Moses was in awe, amazed at the sight of the burning bush. Moses marveled with wonder.

Moses stood in front of the burning bush. It glowed brightly and crackled loudly. Moses was speechless; God had gotten his full attention. And then God spoke to Moses. God may not use something as unusual as a burning bush to get your attention. Give God your attention and your worship through wonder before He has to set a bush on fire. What are you waiting for?

God had gotten his full attention

I Chronicles 16:8 says, “O give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name, make known His deeds among the peoples sing to Him, sing praises to Him, speak of all His wonders. Remember His wonderful deeds, which He has done, His marvels and the judgments from His mouth.”

http://www.leadlikejesus.com/blog/restore-wonder

Blessings,

Sheryl

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone–while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?” Job 38:4-7

 

People, Not Platforms

Happy Monday, friends! I had the opportunity to guest-post again on Lead Like Jesus’ blog.

platform

 

Here’s a sample:

“Whose am I?” When we answer this question, we are admitting who is in charge of us. We are choosing the primary authority and audience for our lives. We are ultimately created to please God. As leaders, we have been called and have accepted the invitation to enter an intimate relationship with our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. As His followers, we personally have access to His Holy Spirit. We can tap into peace, joy and wisdom for living and serving according to God’s purpose for us. Our lives can make a difference for eternity.

Check out my guest post here.

Have a great day!

Love and prayers,
Sheryl

Are you new here? For more encouragement, interviews, and music, check out my blogs: From Ashes to Beauty and Transformed Through Truth. You might want to subscribe to my email updates by inputting your email address in the box on the right sidebar, or follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

In the Looking Glass

lookingglass

Good Monday morning, friends. As you are preparing for the week, here’s something to think about:

In the Looking Glass: Reflecting Jesus’ Likeness

Have a great week!

Are you new here? For more encouragement, interviews, and music, check out my blogs: From Ashes to Beauty and Transformed Through Truth. You might want to subscribe to my email updates by inputting your email address in the box on the right sidebar, or follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Uncommon Leadership

Good morning, friends. I had another opportunity to post a guest blog on the Lead Like Jesus website.

uncommonleadership

I’d love to come to your area in person and present The Encounter—Lead Like Jesus seminar.

Send me an email if you are interested in open dates. I am already scheduling two day trainings for 2017.

Check out my guest blog post here.

Have a great day!

Love and prayers,
Sheryl

Are you new here? For more encouragement, interviews, and music, check out my blogs: From Ashes to Beauty and Transformed Through Truth. You might want to subscribe to my email updates by inputting your email address in the box on the right sidebar, or follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Leadership Doesn’t Have to Be Lonely

Leadership. At times it seems very lonely at the top. But it doesn’t need to be that way. We don’t have to succumb to the lies of leadership; we can overcome any falsehood associated with the challenge of leading as we choose to listen to the truth found in God’s word.

Here are more of my thoughts on the subject from my Lead Like Jesus blog, published just last week. Leaders, I am praying for you.

lonely

For more encouragement, interviews, and music, check out Sheryl’s blogs From Ashes to Beauty and Transformed Through Truth.

Are you new here? You might want to subscribe to my email updates by inputting your email address in the box on the right sidebar, or follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Finding Rest in God’s Love

findrest

As leaders, we can’t learn enough about forgiveness. Here’s a reminder from an experience as I Facilitated a Lead Like Jesus Encounter. God loves us too much to leave us where we are.

Finding Rest in God’s Love

One of the best things about the Lead Like Jesus Encounter is the unique experience it brings for growth in leaders. It works because leaders take time out for positive self-care as they uncover brand new ways to further practice God’s presence. Through solid Bible teaching, group interaction and vulnerable activities, participants are encouraged to become engaged and to explore fresh ways to grasp a deeper understanding of the passion of God.

Renewed and Refreshed

Even as I led my first Lead Like Jesus Encounter as a new facilitator, the activity for the Being Habits Diagram proved to be a meaningful opportunity for me to be renewed and refreshed by a personalized revelation of God’s love. It’s wonderful to be reminded how we imitate Jesus as our standard and model for absolute love. Through Jesus’ sacrifice, God loves us unconditionally. Romans 5:8 reminds us, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” The Being Habits Scriptures Activity began with the group reading aloud several verses about God’s love for us. One of my favorites: “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16

To practically apply the Being Habits Scriptures Activity, the group participated in a unique activity where we listened as God’s sweet voice whispered truth to our parched and dry souls. I felt a warmth of the comforting presence of the Holy Spirit come over me, as tears of joy, relief and loss fell onto my lap.

“Sheryl, I no longer call you ‘servant.’ I call you ‘friend.’ ”

“Seek first my kingdom and all you need will be yours, Sheryl.”

“I know the plans I have for you, Sheryl. Plans to prosper you, not to harm you. ”

“Sheryl, I forgive you.”

Forgiven and Restored

My mind froze on the ‘I forgive you’ phrase. In that moment, I slowly repeated the three words in my mind, and thanked my heavenly Father for forgiving me. Now it was my turn to forgive myself. I hadn’t realized I was stuck.

As leaders, we will have opportunities to forgive, but some of us will have many opportunities. God gave us a way to keep the lines of communication open between Him and us. “We must forgive, so that no advantage is taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes,” the Apostle Paul told us in 2 Corinthians 2:10, 11 (NIV). Forgiveness is a choice; it’s a decision, a crisis of the will. Jesus reminds us in Luke 6:36, “Be merciful, just as your Heavenly Father is merciful” (NIV). Although it is still our choice, if we want mercy, we are commanded to be merciful through forgiveness. It’s up to us to remember that our Heavenly Father has granted us substitutionary forgiveness through His Son, Jesus. The Old Testament records God’s requirement for the blood of a lamb to satisfy the substitutionary requirement.

Hebrews 9:22 explains the concept of an innocent life in payment for the sin of a human being; “The law says that almost everything must be made clean by blood, and sins cannot be forgiven without blood to show death” (NCV). The Lord Jesus is our substitute, literally becoming sin for us. “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29 [NIV]). Jesus’s crucifixion wounds belonged to us; He was punished in our place to satisfy God’s requirement. His sacrifice provided for our righteousness. “Christ had no sin, but God made him become sin so that in Christ we could become right with God.”(2 Corinthians 5:21 [NCV]). The choice to forgive others means no one really forgives without bearing the consequences of the other person’s sin. The act of forgiveness is application of the substitution Christ offered to his Heavenly Father for us.

Set Free

In The Being Habits Activity that day, I understood God’s act of forgiving me. Now it was time for me to forgive myself. To fully abide in God’s love, he wanted me to love myself and accept the work he wanted to do in my life. It was up to me to decide whether or not I would accept God’s full forgiveness and refuse to play the enemy’s deceitful game of dodging missiles of blame, shame and unworthiness. I chose to let go of the grudge I held against myself.

1 Corinthians 13:5 says, “Love keeps no record of wrongs” (NIV). We must not keep lists of anything that has hurt, angered, offended, or wronged us. It’s only through God’s power this is possible. We give God permission to do whatever He wants with us when we choose forgiveness instead of bitterness. This is one of the most difficult steps of faith we will ever take. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a permanent attitude.” Forgiveness should actually begin at the time of the offense. Forgiveness is the only way to follow God in faith. (Excerpt from Get Back Up: Trusting God When Life Knocks You Down, pages 34 – 36.)

I could rest in God’s love by abiding, as I choose to fully accept and claim His forgiveness and grace that day. It was encouraging, uplifting and restorative. I discovered healing for the broken and bruised places I hadn’t found resolution before. Because I let God in, he loved me completely, for the first time, I could love myself. I forgave myself for my past mistakes. I accepted the work He wanted to do in my heart, spirit and soul as I heard the echoed whisper in my ear, “Sheryl, I forgive you.” And the results of my belief in the completely thorough manner of God’s complete forgiveness has affected the way I think, live and lead. What about you? Have you heard God’s whisper lately? Maybe it’s time to stop and listen.

*This article was originally written for Lead Like Jesus and published on www.LeadLikeJesus.com. It is reprinted with their permission.*

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Part of the Top 300 Leadership Blogs

lead

If you’ve been reading my blog for a few months, you might know that I’m a part of the regular blogging team at Lead Like Jesus. I just received word that Lead Like Jesus made it into Feedspot’s Top 300 Leadership Blogs! Thanks to everyone who reads Lead Like Jesus, and if you’re not regularly stopping by the blog for some great posts and great insights, click here to start reading.

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Failing Forward

failing

It’s time to settle an important life question. As a leader, how do you deal with failure?

Failure is the inability to complete a task. Instead of feeling incompetent or giving into failure and giving up, leaders must learn to reset our expectations. We might even need to alter our schedule and regroup our team.

We all fail. But it’s how we handle failure that will set us apart from other leaders. We must learn to deal with failure. Do you give into self-pity? Do you blame other people? Leaders must learn how to productively fail and lean into it with a forward motion. As we learn from our failures, the momentum can actually work as a catalyst to move us into the next season of growth and productivity with a committed and thriving team.

Of course, choosing an attitude of faith instead of fear begins deep in the heart of a leader. The lively discussion ensues in The Encounter Lead Like Jesus training, in the “EGO Anonymous meeting.” When applied, the enlightening biblical information can make a team come to fruition or even mend a fragmented team, once a leader understands how pride and fear are addictions that can negatively impact the quality of our leadership. The Christ-centered leader, instead of “Edging God Out” because of self-centered and self-serving motives, decides through Christ’s strength to “Exalt God Only.”

Belief that our mistakes can be lessons doesn’t just happen. It’s a conscious choice to see beyond the foibles. It is having faith in Someone who is reliable. We are reminded of God’s way to handle our doubts when Jesus said, “‘If you can’? Everything is possible for him who believes.” (Mark 9:23)

The Apostle Paul also helps us re-center after we miss the mark. In Philippians 3:12-14, he writes, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that which Christ Jesus took hold of me. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Fear can cause us to question our leadership capabilities, and even wonder if God has really called us to lead. Fear is a natural response to danger. In Psalm 40, David tells us how he cried out for the Lord to rescue him.Living for years in the fear of what could happen, what might happen, David’s future was uncertain as the victim of King Saul’s pursuit. In the midst of our panic, we must turn to God’s solutions. We must move through our reservations and into the confidence of God’s provision and protection. In Psalm 34:4, David shares how God provided for him. “I sought the Lord and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.”

Philippians 2:5-7 further explains the faith aspect of servant leadership: “Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant.” Jesus Christ was the greatest servant leader who ever lived. He faced certain death on the cross. Although He questioned it, He was obedient. He didn’t see His crucifixion as a failure. Jesus Christ persevered unto the end. His dying words in Luke 23:34: “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

As we choose to serve others like Jesus did – without fear and with humility – we intentionally restore God to the place He deserves in our lives. With the attitude of a student, in humility and love, we can learn from our failures. We find ourselves propelled ahead, moving forward in our own growth This gives us a renewed sense of security and confidence as we see our previous methods of comparison to others is replaced with contentment and assurance in our leadership role. We can welcome the next season of working together with a committed and thriving team.

God is bigger than your failure! The kingdom of God is intentionally built by leaders who live by failing forward.

*This article was originally written for Lead Like Jesus and published on www.LeadLikeJesus.com. It is reprinted with their permission.*

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