I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.
A leader is a dealer in hope.
A few more thoughts, and I’m really moving on!! 🙂
While there is a lot that I don’t know, here’s what I do know. In case I haven’t told you, I am a broken sinner who can be selfish, mean, lazy and rude. But this same man is redeemed by the power of the Cross and in His grace I have been given new life. In that new life, I am able to pursue dreams and crazy ideas like Backstage Leadership and Free Chains. I haven’t made it on my own. I have the most supportive wife on the planet who believes in me and supports the bigger vision than just our comfort. I’m surrounded by an amazing team (of all volunteers btw!!) and God has opened many doors. I cannot take the credit for those doors opening, but by his grace, I’ve been able to walk through them. If I haven’t given enough credit to you God, let this be my repentance and acknowledge that it is the working of the Holy Spirit that has enabled all of this stuff to come together, not our feeble efforts. Thank you for giving us the chance of a lifetime.
Sorry for you if the first time you meet me you are overwhelmed by all this. Sorry for those of you that think we’re doing too much or we’re crazy. We are, because there’s a lot to get done! I’ve only got one shot at this life and I want it to matter. Maybe I need to watch how I describe everything in my life, as to not sound self promoting, but I’m excited about this and dang it I want to tell anyone who will listen. If that is too much to take in or shocking, maybe it means your life is too boring. Maybe you need to get in on the action. I know my life wasn’t nearly as exciting until I started going out on limbs. There’s plenty of empty limbs out there! We’ve decided that we don’t want to look like everyone else. God doesn’t need another boring marriage, another regular guy or a typical wife. He’s doing awesome stuff why would I not want to talk about it? I will not apologize for being passionate about what God has called me to and what he is fulfilling.
I also know this, I believe in what God is doing through Backstage Leadership and Free Chains. With amazing help and support, we’ve raised over $10,000 to help girls affected by sex trafficking. This has given life to children that might not otherwise have ever gotten it. We’ve been able to preach the gospel to audiences we never would have been able to before. I believe in the lessons we’ve learned from amazing leaders in Backstage. I believe in the ministry of Chuck Colson and all our other presenters. I believe in the efforts of Lee, Chris, David, Cathy, Shane and others who have given countless hours and money to see a new generation of leaders grow to their potential to do big things for the Kingdom. I believe in our participants who are in the trenches, grinding it out. I believe in their ministries and businesses and that they will do HUGE things for the Kingdom. I believe that God is using all of you to do great things. I am so glad you are on this journey with me.
I’ll admit its hard to not want the recognition for myself, to be patted on the back, to be acknowledged, but there’s no way I can honestly take it because I’m only a little cog in a huge machine that God is driving. God has opened the doors. God brought amazing leaders together. God has opened people’s hearts. Others have given time and money. There is no other explanation other than God is doing something great and I’m just trying to figure out what that next step is. Sorry I don’t have all the answers. But I’m thankful I serve a God who does know the answers. I’ve got a lot to learn and a long way to go, but for all those on the journey with me, thank you. Here’s to changing the world!
Btw, here’s the note my wife left for me after reading my thoughts! I love this woman!
**I want to help change the world with you. Have grace, forgive and push forward. I love you.**
I got up this morning after a rough day yesterday, trying my best to “move on.” I had the strangest conversation yesterday with someone I’d only talk to for 2 hours in my life. After one lunch, he thought it best to meet with me again to question my motives and integrity for why I was doing all the ministry stuff. I was totally taken by surprise. I was angry. Then I tried to laugh it off. Then it made me mad again. I knew in my heart what my motives are. And better yet, I know God knows them. But, it still really got to me.
I grabbed my Bible and continued reading in Mark. I like how Mark writes. Too the point. No fluff. There was a time in Jesus’ ministry where he went home to do some ministry. At first, the people were amazed at his teaching. He spent some time in the synagogue and the crowds loved him. They wanted to know where he’d gotten this wisdom and how in the heck could he do miracles. Then something strange happened. Some of the people recognized Jesus. Their memories started connecting the dots. Isn’t this Mary’s son? Isn’t he just a carpenter? Don’t we know his brothers and sisters? What gives him the right? Mark says “and they took offense at him.”
I find that very intriguing. I mean, when he was healing everything was cool right? But, once they noticed who Jesus was, they turned 180 degrees. The reason they did was because they thought they knew Jesus. They thought they understood his purpose. They thought they had all the answers. They thought they had all the perspective. They thought they had some spiritual insight. The truth was, they didn’t have any of that. They didn’t know him. They didn’t have the foggiest idea of his purpose or his intentions. So, Jesus packed up and left. You have to think that as his ministry continued to grow that word crept back to them about all the amazing stuff Jesus was doing. You know they were kicking themselves. We could have had the party with never ending wine. It could have been our 5000 people that got a pot luck dinner. But they didn’t because the assumed they understood. And maybe if they’d taken the time to get to know Jesus before judging him, they would have seen the rest of the story. And who knows, maybe they would have played a better role.
So this morning I’m understanding that there are people that think they know you. For some reason or another, they think they have the right to step in and judge something when they know only a small percentage of the facts. Was Jesus the carpenter? Yes. But that was the extent of their knowledge. They had no clue about the whole Son of God thing yet. So the presumed and Jesus left. But here’s what was cool for me as I’m working through yesterday’s conversation in my head. Two verses later Mark tells us that Jesus keeps going from village to village teaching. He kept going. He knew they were wrong, but more importantly he knew the vision and purpose of his calling. Jesus was not distracted by those that knew 1% of his story. I’m pretty certain this will not be the last time that people jump into my story thinking they understand what’s going on but only have a small percentage of the truth. When that happened to Jesus, he was amazed at their lack of faith and then he moved on. I’m taking the advise of a good friend who knows me well enough to say, take note of it, check your heart and move on. I’m moving on
Andrew Murray said this, “It is a solemn thought that our love of God is measured by our everyday relationships with others…it is easy to think that we humble ourselves before God, but our humility toward others is the only sufficient proof that our humility before God is real” I have prayed and considered the conversation and asked those closest in my life to be real with me if my intentions for ministry turn selfish. An unexpected reminder, but now its time to move on.
Who are the people that make up your inner circle? The people you go to when serious issues arise? The people that you allow into every area of your life?
The wisest man in the world said that seeking council is the best way to make decisions.
If you don’t have an inner circle, why not?